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So what happen to a shuttle that enters a black hole?

  1. Feb 24, 2010 #1
    So what happens to a shuttle that enters a black hole?

    This is really a 2 part question. The first part is what I am more intrigued about more or less because someone here is liable to give me a definate answer.

    What perplexes me is this: assuming i was able to avoid the acreation disk and debris surrounding most stellar singularities and let my ship fall naturally into the black hole, would it really get ripped appart? Aren't I just following the space-time curve in a relative manner? Am I not just free-falling in empty space, with no atmosphere to resist me and cause me to burn up?

    Then, supposing I could cross the event horizon intact, is there even a singularity inside? Or is it just a mathematical artifact? As far as I can tell, the coefficient between a BH mass and the perimeter of it's event horizon eliminates the actual need for a singularity... Especially since the laws of physics break down in there as I've read.

    I appreciate any info or theories regarding this but please address my main issue!!! Thank you very much in advance, I am new here and very excited to have found such an awsome forum!
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2010 #2
    Re: So what happens to a shuttle that enters a black hole?

    The tidal forces will rip the ship apart, if your size is nonzero. Just like the moon tries to rip the earth apart (although it only manages to create some tidal water effects in that case).

    According to GR, there is a point within the event horizon where the curvature of spacetime diverges. It could be the case that in reality it is not a singularity (e.g. very large instead infinite), but nobody knows this, of course.
  4. Feb 24, 2010 #3


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    If the Black Hole is large enough, the tidal forces are negligible. You can enter without being harmed.
    But inside, there's a singularity lurking. Whether it's an "actual" singularity or just something incredibly dense and hot and so doesn't really matter for you, the result is the same.
  5. Feb 25, 2010 #4
    What falls under the zero category?
  6. Feb 25, 2010 #5
    When the subset of R^3 occupied by your spaceship is one point.

  7. Feb 25, 2010 #6


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    Maybe I shoul repeat that
    is wrong, depending on the BH size. The largest would even let planets through without ripping them apart.
  8. Feb 25, 2010 #7
    Aha, sorry I think we are talking about different things. You are talking about crossing the horizon, I'm talking about what will happen eventually when you get close enough to the singularity.

  9. Feb 28, 2010 #8
    Similar situation, but everything beyond the event horizon is very difficult to compute. Igor Novikov did some interesting papers on traversing the inner singularity and surviving, which might be worth checking out. Just do a search on the arXiv for the preprints. Super-massive black-holes have negligible tidal forces up really close to the singularity - if space-time behaves itself the other side of the event horizon. If there's a phase-transition into a "gravastar" or some other exotic interior space-time, then the point is moot... you go splat at high temperature just infinitesimally outside the Schwarzschild radius.
  10. Mar 1, 2010 #9
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