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

Supermassive loop holes

  1. Jan 12, 2008 #1
    I was wondering which has more mass The Milky Way or the supermassive blackhole at the center. And I was wondering if our sun was sucked in and suppose you could measure the size it would be reduced to after going in how big would it be. I guess what I really want to know is what happens to the space in between the electron and the nucleus of an atom after entering a black hole? do they touch? I'm assuming they do . what about the sub atomic particles, does the same thing happen to them? I'm not sure how the all that mass fits in a black hole and it be as small as it is. there has to be a fantastic amount of smaller particles that are yet to be discovered that are also compressed for everything to fit. Is the Hadron Collider in Swizterland going to find them .
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Hi, H.G.
    The atoms as 'large' objects cease to exist at the neutron star stage. That's where the gravity is so strong that electrons are forced into the nuclei. The resultant degenerate matter is refered to as 'neutronium', and it's the densest substance that can exist.
    When you get to the black hole stage, there really isn't any matter left. If our sun were to be sucked into one, it would cease to have any physical existence, although its mass, spin, etc. would modify those of the hole. Do keep in mind, though, that the gravitational attraction of a black hole outside of the 'static limit' is the same as it would be for any other body of the same mass. If our sun were to be somehow compressed to black hole status, Earth would continue to orbit it as if nothing had happened. (But the nights would be a bit longer.)
    This is outside of my area, so I defer to Space Tiger or other astrophysicists on board for a proper explanation. In fact, it would probably be appropriate for this thread to be moved to the Astronomy/Astrophysics/Related Weirdness forum.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2008
  4. Jan 12, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award
    Dearly Missed

    IIRC the supermassive black hole at the center of Milky is small compared with many other such-----it is only 2 to 3 million solar masses.

    Milkyway galaxy mass is on the order of 400 billion solar. Some estimates are as high as one trillion.

    So the whole galaxy is on the order of 100 thousand times more more massive than the black hole at the center.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?