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Schwarzschild's radius inquiry

  1. Apr 13, 2009 #1
    Good afternoon everyone,

    I'm not sure where to post this, or if it is worth your wild to answer such an inquiry. I am not into the physics & quantum mechanics formulas and being able to figure them out as many of you, however I am finding myself requiring some assistance in the field of Schwarzschild's radius. I am a member of Space.com where we discuss many of the new discoveries, and other scientific topics. Recently a member has visited our site with an open contradiction to the interpretation of Schwarzschild's radius and how it's been misused by astrophysicists over the last 90 years. Laying insult to names such as Hawking, Penrose, and Chandrasekhar. Below I have included a post this individual has made indicating apparent evidence to prove black holes don't exist. Of course I dismiss his claims. However, is there any formula to indicate the contrary and lay this argument to rest? If you can help, it would very much be appreciated.

    Many of us believe this noblackhole individual to be Mr. Crothers as his attitude, choices or words, etc... all seem to match that of Mr. Crothers from these links. Thank you, again.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2009 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Try footnote 8, p43 of 't Hooft's http://www.phys.uu.nl/~thooft/lectures/genrel.pdf [Broken]. Generally it helps to use coordinate-independent geometric invariants in interpreting the formulas, rather than coordinates alone.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Apr 13, 2009 #3
    I'm not really good at this sort of mathematics, nor it's interpretation. My forte is more history then anything. I just don't believe noblackhole is correct that every astrophysicist for the last 90 years is wrong. We have so many things pointing to the existence of black holes, it's nearly impossible for them not to exist.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  5. Apr 14, 2009 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Hi TheOneRaven welcome to PF,

    I agree with atyy on the importance of coordinate-independent geometric invariants. But I would like to add that it doesn't really matter if Schwarzschild himself in his seminal paper actually understood the nature of the event horizon in terms of geometric invariants any more than it matters if Einstein in his seminal paper understood the time dilation in terms of invariants. These seminal works, despite their historical importance and genius, are not considered the "final word" on any of these subjects. Regardless of Schwarzschild's opinion it is mathematically provable that black holes (as the term is used today) are solutions to the Einstein field equations. Of course, the EFE could be wrong, that is what observation and experiment is for.

    Here are a series of links that cover what it meant by the term "black hole", and some observational evidence supporting them. To date I would not say that the evidence is conclusive, but I would say that it is reasonably strong.

  6. Apr 14, 2009 #5
    Coincidentally, I am reading Kip Thorne's BLACK HOLES AND TIME WARPS and in Chapter's 5 and 6 he follows the historical development of black hole physics...it has a number of interesting historical insights and a number of famous and not so famous contributors to expanding Schwarzschild's mathematics...must go on for 50 pages or so.....and Dalespam's post above properly reflects the relative unimportance of Schwarszchild's initial understanding...

    for one thing a "Schwarzschild singularity" for many years meant what is now called the event horizon..."Black Hole' was not even in the vernacular at the time....in particular, an assistant professor from Stevens Institute, Hoboken,NJ, David Finkelstein discovered somewhat by chance a new reference frame which gave a totally new perspective on stellar implosions (page 245)...the now familiar dichotomy of a faraway static observer on one hand and an observer riding in with the imploding star was explained....the former sees a freezing of the implosion (as infinite time appears at the event horizon and everything slows to a standstill) while the latter observes continued implosion from the star's surface....

    for the time being, I'll stick with the dozens and likely hundreds of physicists and mathematicians who have studied the detailed mathematics rather than Mr. Crothers....
  7. Apr 20, 2009 #6
    Thank you very much. Some of those equations might come in handy deferring conspiracy theorists :)
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