The Physics of Black Hole Creation

Let me describe briefly how a black hole might be created. Imagine a star with a mass 10 times that of the sun. During most of its lifetime of about a billion years the star will generate heat at its center by converting hydrogen into helium. The energy released will create sufficient pressure to support the star against its own gravity, giving rise to an object with a radius about five times the radius of the sun. The escape velocity from the surface of such a star would be about 1,000 kilometers per second. That is to say, an object fired vertically upward from the surface of the star with a velocity of less than 1,000 kilometers per second would be dragged back by the gravitational field of the star and would return to the surface, whereas an object with a velocity greater than that would escape to infinity.

When the star had exhausted its nuclear fuel, there would be nothing to maintain the outward pressure, and the star would begin to collapse because of its own gravity. As the star shrank, the gravitational field at the surface would become stronger and the escape velocity would increase. By the time the radius had got down to 10 kilometers the escape velocity would have increased to 100,000 kilometers per second, the velocity of light. After that time any light emitted from the star would not be able to escape to infinity but would be dragged back by the gravitational field. According to the special theory of relativity nothing can travel faster than light, so that if light cannot escape, nothing else can either. The result would be a black hole: a region of space-time from which it is not possible to escape to infinity.


At a point in the star's collapse, it's escape velocity exceeds the speed of light.

Folksonomies: physics black hole

/science/physics (0.588779)
/science/mathematics/geometry (0.567704)
/travel (0.535535)

escape velocity (0.918302 (negative:-0.272139)), star (0.803462 (positive:0.159491)), black hole (0.686983 (negative:-0.461530)), gravitational field (0.639851 (negative:-0.281105)), Black Hole Creation (0.432246 (negative:-0.462672)), kilometers (0.322174 (negative:-0.258792)), 10 kilometers (0.283653 (negative:-0.245887)), sufficient pressure (0.281409 (positive:0.543336)), nuclear fuel (0.276380 (negative:-0.484245)), special theory (0.273563 (neutral:0.000000)), surface (0.272031 (negative:-0.262798)), outward pressure (0.270790 (negative:-0.337234)), radius (0.246603 (negative:-0.245887)), infinity (0.238725 (negative:-0.290403)), light (0.236189 (negative:-0.274364)), object (0.220932 (negative:-0.245002))

black hole:FieldTerminology (0.933727 (negative:-0.461530)), 1,000 kilometers:Quantity (0.933727 (neutral:0.000000)), 100,000 kilometers:Quantity (0.933727 (neutral:0.000000)), 10 kilometers:Quantity (0.933727 (neutral:0.000000)), billion years:Quantity (0.933727 (neutral:0.000000))

General relativity (0.968313): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Special relativity (0.888391): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Fundamental physics concepts (0.662955): dbpedia
Speed of light (0.646637): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Mass (0.638731): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Sun (0.617536): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Light (0.589686): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Spacetime (0.579510): dbpedia | freebase | yago

 The Quantum Mechanics of Black Holes
Periodicals>Magazine Article:  Hawking , Stephen W. (1977), The Quantum Mechanics of Black Holes, Scientific American, 1977, 236, 34-40., Retrieved on 2012-06-04
Folksonomies: quantum mechanics