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Cosmic black holes

  1. Feb 10, 2016 #1
    It appears that black holes do exist in our universe, in the sense that there are objects so massive and so small that there must be an event horizon. Is it generally accepted that there is "really" a singularity inside these event horizons, or that we just don't know, and may never know?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2016 #2
    Singularities aren't physical, they're just where the physics stop making sense due to a lack of knowledge.

    I read somewhere that we'll hopefully be able to peer further into black holes with one of the telescopes being constructed now. I'll try to find the article when I'm on a computer.
  4. Feb 10, 2016 #3


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    We don't really know this. It's possible that singularities are physical. A lot of physicists suspect that a theory of quantum gravity would show that classical singularities really stop blowing up when you get to the Planck scale. However, we don't know that, because we don't have a theory of quantum gravity.

    No. Black hole singularities are inside an event horizon, so you can't observe them from the outside using a telescope. You may be thinking of attempts to image the event horizon.
  5. Feb 10, 2016 #4
    I should've make my "peeking in" a bit more specific: I didn't mean we would observe the singularity, but rather we would be able to peer a little bit inside of a BH, not so much observing the inner workings/singularity.
  6. Feb 10, 2016 #5


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    Even "a little bit inside" is problematic. More likely, we will develop a theory of quantum gravity whose predictions match observations everywhere that we can observe (as does GR) but also predicts something more plausible than a singularity at the center of a black hole.
  7. Feb 10, 2016 #6


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    To amplify on what Nugatory said, you might want to look up the definition of an event horizon and think about it carefully. Simply as a matter of definition, you can't peek even a little inside an event horizon. (You could hypothesize that event horizons don't actually exist, or that GR describes them incorrectly, but that would be a different issue.)
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