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What is a black hole? Show more Show less
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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?

Inside a black hole Show more Show less

Descent into a black hole would result in certain death to us humans due to the high gravitational force. But if we could, what would happen if we traveled into a black hole?
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A black hole is Spaghettification: a cosmic stretch machine

If one were to enter a black hole, they would be stretched apart by the force of gravity.

The Argument

A black hole is a mass concentrated into an infinitely tiny point. This causes immense and strange gravity, which gets more and more intense as one gets closer to the center. If someone traveled inside a black hole, they would experience a tidal force, or a difference in gravity, between their head and feet. Because the gravity is increasing so rapidly as you draw near the center of a black hole, your head (assuming you descended feet first) would experience much less gravity than your feet.[1] These tidal forces would not bode well for us humans, or any object traveling into a black hole. When the head and feet are pulled upon differently by the black hole's gravity, a one would be stretched out in a process known by scientists as spaghettification. It would stretch you out, breaking your body in half and eventually reducing you (or any object entering a black hole) into a thin rope of atoms.[2]

Counter arguments

This isn't the case for all black holes. For relatively small black holes closer to the mass of our sun, spaghettification would take place. However, in larger black holes the gravity increase is spread out over more distance. Therefore, the tidal force is not as large and spaghettification would not take place.



[P1] In black holes, the gravity increases very quickly. [P2] If one descended into a black hole, the gravity would be larger on their first point of entry. [P3] The difference in gravity would stretch them out, resulting in spaghettification.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Large black holes don't increase quickly enough to be significant.




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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 26 Aug 2020 at 08:48 UTC

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