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Does captured light increase a black hole's mass?

  1. Jun 13, 2013 #1
    As energy cannot be created or destroyed, what happens to a black hole that captures a photon? Does the black hole's mass increase by the energy of the photon? Or is the photon simply trapped there, and then escape when the black hole finally evaporates from hawking radiation?

    Or something else entirely?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 13, 2013 #2
    E=mc2 so yes captured energy does increase a BH's mass
  4. Jun 29, 2013 #3
    The photon looses its identity upon entering the Black Hole. It is lumped into the Black Hole's mass and will not come out again as itself so far as we know.

    Hope that helps :p
  5. Aug 13, 2013 #4
    Just a comment, General Relativity uses "mass-energy" and a source to cause "curvature" in space-time (or if you like it better this way: a source of "gravity")

    Therefore, yes, photons, as they carrying energy, they will increase the mass-energy of the black hole. (and therefore it's gravity)
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