Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Size and mass of a black hole

  1. Oct 30, 2015 #1
    I have some difficulty understanding how a black hole can have both size and mass.
    Inside a black hole, space is infinitely warped and matter crushed into oblivion.
    Thus, if there is no space inside a black hole, what exactly separates the event horizon, or the black hole external boundary, from the singularity, or the black hole center?
    In other words, how can there be a distance where there is no space?
    Then, if there is no matter inside a black hole, where does its mass come from?
    Mass is only an attribute of matter, it doesn't exist by itself.
    So if a black hole has a mass, what is this mass attached to?
    And by the way, if there is a Higgs field, having mass inside a black hole would mean that the Higgs field continues to operate inside this nothingness...?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 31, 2015 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The infinite warpage is only at the central singularity. Everything outside the singularity, including all the space between the singularity and the event horizon (and even the event horizon itself), is just plain ordinary garden-variety vacuum. If you were falling into a black hole you wouldn't notice anything unusual as you passed through the event horizon; the huge tidal forces you've about have nothing to do with the horizon and may be encountered above it, at it, or below it.

    The mass of a black hole is concentrated at the center, and there are a number of threads here and in the relativity subforum about what's going on there.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook