argument top image

What is a black hole? Show more Show less
Back to question

Black holes are one of the most mysterious objects in the Universe. They consist of an immense amount of matter packed into a tiny volume, giving them enormous density and gravity. The gravitational pull is so high that not even light can escape, so they are invisible. These objects have puzzled astronomers and physicists for decades - what is a black hole and what do we know about them?

Black hole structure Show more Show less

The black hole structure consists of two significant parts: an event horizon, and a singularity.
(1 of 4) Next position >

A black hole is the point of no return

The event horizon of a black hole is the boundary where the gravitational pull becomes so strong that even light cannot escape.

The Argument

A black hole consists of immense mass collapsed into an infinitely small point, creating a huge gravitational force around the black hole. As something draws closer and closer to the black hole, it needs more speed to escape the pull of gravity. The event horizon is the boundary at which something would have to move faster than the speed of light to escape the black hole's gravity. Since the theory of special relativity establishes that nothing in the Universe can move through space faster than the speed of light, nothing can escape the black hole once across the event horizon.[1] The event horizon for a stationary black hole is a sphere, while a spinning black hole created on that is more elliptical. Both event horizons are invisible because light cannot escape them. Anything inside the event horizon cannot be viewed, and events within the horizon can never be seen, hence the name. Black holes can only be seen by what is around them, not the actual hole itself. As gas or particles are sucked toward the black hole, they swirl around the event horizon and heat up with the immense speed, releasing lots of light and heat. Because of this, the outside of the event horizon appears glowing, while anything on the inside is perfectly black.[2]

Counter arguments

There are alternate theories for the idea of an event horizon that has grown in significance in recent years. The theory of Hawking radiation has clearly shown that some radiation can release from the event horizon, negating the idea that it is an inescapable boundary. Other physicists have argued that black holes consist of multiple objects with fuzzy boundaries and that the event horizon is not a concrete or exact boundary.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] A black hole has an immense gravitational pull. [P2] At the event horizon, even light cannot escape the gravitational pull. [P3] Since nothing can travel faster than light, nothing can escape the event horizon.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.space.com/black-holes-event-horizon-explained.html
  2. https://chandra.harvard.edu/blackhole/

Vote

Not sure yet? Read more ↑

Discuss

This page was last edited on Monday, 28 Sep 2020 at 07:31 UTC

Explore related arguments