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Thread: Matter of a Black Hole

  1. #1
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    Default Matter of a Black Hole



    I never really thought of this and was watching Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking and there was a scene where they've portrayed a black hole in time traveling.

    I was curious one kind of matter is the black hole is made of if it is known, I tries doing some research an some said plasma and other declare it has a completely different type of matter.

    Can anyone add to this or any good reads on the subject? Thanks.
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    Default Re: Matter of a Black Hole

    The short answer is that no one knows. What goes on inside the event horizon of a black hole is unknown and perhaps unknowable.

    If I were to take a guess, I would suggest that much of the mass is degenerate matter of some kind. Given that the mass predicts a singularity, it is likely to be even more degenerate than the matter of a neutron star. Maybe some kind of quark soup. Matter that is inside the event horizon but not yet reached the singularity (whatever that actually is) would probably be in the form of plasma. But those are just guesses.

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    Default Re: Matter of a Black Hole

    Although I don't know a lot about astrophysics, I did do a lot of research on black holes. Black holes aren't made of anything, they are just holes in the space time continuum. The matter that they "eat" such as stars are made of plasma, but I think that this is where the phrase "You are what you eat" applies.
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    Default Re: Matter of a Black Hole

    Perhaps made up of the theoretical "gravitons"? I suppose one would have to figure out what actually creates gravity first and that may be what a black hole is composed of.

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    Default Re: Matter of a Black Hole

    For the simplest kind of black hole (non-rotating, non-charged), all matter that falls inside the event horizon will get crushed into the singularity within a finite time, everything between the singularity and the event horizon is just empty space.

    Some possible reasonable answers for matter in singularity:
    a) An infinitely dense mesh of standard model particles
    b) Photons converted from mass
    c) Some other kind of energy
    d) Unknown

    A theory of quantum gravity would probably get rid of the singularity. A theory of quantum gravity not yet created. So, answer on your question is d) - Unknown.

    Some differences are for rotating/charged black holes. In such black holes some stationary orbits for mass and massless particles are exists, so for long time matter that falls inside the event horizon can be outside of singularity. In such situation there are can be photons, or ordinary particles between singularity and the event horizon. And also empty space – vacuum is just virtual particles in semi-classical gravity.

    So full answer at the current moment - matter inside black hole can be in form of virtual particles, particles and photons and unknown matter.

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    Default

    Indeed an interesting topic but many open questions and unknown answers that need more research.

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    Default Re: Matter of a Black Hole

    Thanks Astroval
    I learnt something from your post.
    Cheers
    Doug

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    Default Re: Matter of a Black Hole

    Astroval has given reasonable choices. Basically, Keith is right, we don't know.

    What we can explore is a slightlly less dense neutron star. We can observe them indirectly by looking at the product of collisions on the surface. But when more mass is added things start to change. At somewhere between 3 and 5 solar masses the consensus says the neutron star will collapse into a bh. That says neutrons no longer exist as particles.

    But we can't duplicate the conditions on earth yet and we can't observe what happens inside the event horizon. Roger Penrose and Steven Hawking spent some time on this and decided a singularity was the best they could do. Not much work has been done on it since.
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    Default Re: Matter of a Black Hole

    Based on observations of white dwarfs and neutron stars, we find that the mass times the volume is a constant. That says if you double the mass, it will have half the volume. Chandrasekhar concluded this should hold up to 3 solar masses.

    Other calculations show that at 5 solar masses we would definitely expect a bh. This is based on what we think we know about the forces that cause quarks to form a neutron. If gravity exceeds that force, we would expect a break down into some type of quark plasma.

    We can calculate the event horizon for any mass. It is when that mass is so dense that it lies within the horizon that we expect a bh.

    How this transition from neutron star to bh happens is still up for grabs as far as I know.
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    Default Re: Matter of a Black Hole

    The black hole is supposed to be star that has collapsed on itself. I would think the object is made of the materials from the star in a very dense state.
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