Essay about Black Holes

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If theories of their existence are true, black holes are the most powerful force in the known physical universe. Many people are familiar with the term black hole, but few people actually know anything about them. A black hole forms as a result of a massive star running out of fuel to burn (Chaisson, 193). Once the star is no longer exerting outward force by burning off gases, it begins to collapse under it’s own intense, inward gravity (Chaisson, 193). It is like slowly letting the air out of a balloon. Once the star is compacted to a certain size, while it’s mass, or weight, remains the same, it’s gravity becomes so powerful that nothing can escape it (Hawking, 87). This critical size to weight ratio is known as the Schwarzchild
Radius
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The simple formula for this, in physics, states that a body’s escape velocity is equal to the square root of it’s mass, divided by it’s radius
(Chaisson, 77). For example, if a body’s mass is two-hundred, and it’s size is twelve and one half, the escape velocity would be four. If the size of the same body is reduced to two, while it’s mass remained at two-hundred, the escape velocity increases to ten. Since a black hole’s size is always decreasing and it’s weight is always the same, the escape velocity is infinite (Chaisson,
195). This means that nothing can escape a black hole past the event horizon, not even light. Light is made up of waves and particles. It was discovered, in 1676, by Danish astronomer, Ole
Christenson, that light travels at a very high, but finite speed (Hawking, 18). These properties of light govern that it must be subject to forces of nature, such as gravity. Light travels at such a high speed that it is not observably effected by gravity, unless that gravity is very strong. A black hole’s gravity is powerful enough to trap light because it’s escape velocity, being infinite, exceeds the speed of light (Hawking, 82). This is why a black hole is black. Once light crosses the event horizon it is drawn into the hole in space. Although the light is still hitting objects, it is not able to bounce off to indicate their existence to an observer,

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