Virtual particle creation in black holes

In summary, vacuum fluctuations, also known as quantum foam, are created by themselves and result in the creation of virtual particle pairs outside of the event horizon of a black hole. This concept is a contentious subject and there is debate over the extent to which it is physical versus mathematical. Some argue that it is only a pedagogical device used to explain the complex mathematical concepts behind Hawking radiation. Ultimately, understanding these fluctuations requires a deeper understanding of the mathematical calculations involved.
  • #1
AbsoluteZer0
125
1
Hi,

As I understand virtual particle pairs can be created outside of the event horizon of a black hole.
I understand that they result from Vacuum Fluctuations. What creates these vacuum fluctuations?

***A side note: I hope I'm not violating any rules of the physics forums by creating two consecutive threads
 
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  • #3
AbsoluteZer0 said:
Hi,

As I understand virtual particle pairs can be created outside of the event horizon of a black hole.
I understand that they result from Vacuum Fluctuations. What creates these vacuum fluctuations?

***A side note: I hope I'm not violating any rules of the physics forums by placing this question in a thread different from my first question.

"vacuum fluctuations / quantum foam" seems to be a bit of a contentious subject. There is some argument as to how "physical" vs how "mathematical" they actually are.

Hawking himself has said the using "virtual particles" to describe Hawking radiation is actually misleading and is only a pedagogical device that does a somewhat clumsy job of translating the math describing what happens into English language.
 
  • #4
"vacuum fluctuations / quantum foam" seems to be a bit of a contentious subject. There is some argument as to how "physical" vs how "mathematical" they actually are.
Yah - it's a model used to help figure out the probability of detecting something in what we would classically be thinking of as nothing (and suchlike). After that it can get very philosophical.

I don't think we can do justice to the ideas at a pop-science level.
At some point you just have to do the math.
 
  • #5
Thanks for the responses.
Most of the confusion was cleared up.
 

Related to Virtual particle creation in black holes

1. What are virtual particles and how are they related to black holes?

Virtual particles are subatomic particles that spontaneously appear and disappear in the quantum vacuum. In the context of black holes, they are created at the event horizon due to the intense gravitational pull.

2. How are virtual particles created in black holes?

Virtual particles are created in black holes through the process of pair production. This is when a high-energy photon near the event horizon of a black hole transforms into a particle-antiparticle pair. One particle falls into the black hole and the other escapes, resulting in the appearance of virtual particles.

3. Do virtual particles contribute to the evaporation of black holes?

Yes, virtual particles play a crucial role in the Hawking radiation process, which leads to the gradual evaporation of black holes. As virtual particles are created at the event horizon, one member of the pair can fall into the black hole while the other escapes, carrying away energy and causing the black hole to lose mass over time.

4. Can virtual particles escape the event horizon of a black hole?

Yes, one member of a virtual particle pair can escape the event horizon of a black hole if it has enough energy to overcome the intense gravitational pull. This is the mechanism behind Hawking radiation and the gradual evaporation of black holes.

5. Are virtual particles responsible for the information paradox in black holes?

It is still a topic of debate whether virtual particles play a role in the information paradox in black holes. Some theories suggest that information about particles falling into a black hole may be encoded in the virtual particles created at the event horizon, while others propose alternative explanations. The exact mechanism behind the information paradox is still not fully understood.

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