Black Holes


General aspect of searching black holes and understanding of the subject.
     For
ages people have been determined to explicate on everything. Our search for
explanation rests only when there is a lack of questions. Our skies hold
infinite quandaries, so the quest for answers will, as a result, also be
infinite. Since its inception, Astronomy as a science speculated heavily upon
discovery, and only came to concrete conclusions later with closer inspection.

Aspects of the skies which at one time seemed like reasonable explanations are
now laughed at as egotistical ventures. Time has shown that as better
instrumentation was developed, more accurate understanding was attained. Now it
seems, as we advance on scientific frontiers, the new quest of the heavens is to
find and explain the phenomenom known as a black hole. The goal of this paper is
to explain how the concept of a black hole came about, and give some insight on
how black holes are formed and might be tracked down in our more technologically
advanced future. Gaining an understanding of a black hole allows for a greater
understanding of the concept of spacetime and maybe give us a grasp of both
science fiction and science fact. Hopefully, all the clarification will come by
the close of this essay. A black hole is probably one of the most misunderstood
ideas among people outside of the astronomical and physical communities. Before
an understanding of how it is formed can take place, a bit of an introduction to
stars is necessary. This will shed light (no pun intended) on the black hole
philosophy. A star is an enormous fire ball, fueled by a nuclear reaction at its
core which produces massive amounts of heat and pressure. It is formed when two
or more enormous gaseous clouds come together which forms the core, and as an
aftereffect the conversion, due to that impact, of huge amounts of energy from
the two clouds. The clouds come together with a great enough force, that a
nuclear reaction ensues. This type of energy is created by fusion wherein the
atoms are forced together to form a new one. In turn, heat in excess of millions
of degrees farenheit are produced. This activity goes on for eons until the
point at which the nuclear fuel is exhausted. Here is where things get
interesting. For the entire life of the star, the nuclear reaction at its core
produced an enormous outward force. Interestingly enough, an exactly equal
force, namely gravity, was pushing inward toward the center. The equilibrium of
the two forces allowed the star to maintain its shape and not break away nor
collapse. Eventually, the fuel for the star runs out, and it this point, the
outward force is overpowered by the gravitational force, and the object caves in
on itself. This is a gigantic implosion. Depending on the original and final
mass of the star, several things might occur. A usual result of such an
implosion is a star known as a white dwarf. This star has been pressed together
to form a much more massive object. It is said that a teaspoon of matter off a
white dwarf would weigh 2-4 tons. Upon the first discovery of a white dwarf, a
debate arose as to how far a star can collapse. And in the 1920ís two leading
astrophysicists, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekgar and Sir Arthur Eddington came up
with different conclusions. Chandrasekhar looked at the relations of mass to
radius of the star, and concluded an upper limit beyond which collapse would
result in something called a neutron star. This limit of 1.4 solar masses was an
accurate measurement and in 1983, the Nobel committee recognized his work and
awarded him their prize in Physics. The white dwarf is massive, but not as
massive as the next order of imploded star known as a neutron star. Often as the
nuclear fuel is burned out, the star will begin to shed its matter in an
explosion called a supernovae. When this occurs the star loses an enormous
amount of mass, but that which is left behind, if greater than 1.4 solar masses,
is a densely packed ball of neutrons. This star is so much more massive that a
teaspoon of itís matter would weigh somewhere in the area of 5 million tons in
earthís gravity. The magnitude of such a dense body is unimaginable. But even
a neutron star isnít the extreme when it comes to a starís collapse. That
brings us to the focus of this paper. It is felt, that when a star is massive
enough, any where in the area of or larger than 3-3.5 solar masses, the collapse
would cause something of a much greater mass. In fact, the mass of this new
object is speculated to be infinite. Such an entity is what we call a black
hole. After a black hole is created, the gravitational force continues to pull
in space debris and all other types of matter in. This continuous addition makes
the hole stronger and more powerful and obviously more massive. The simplest
three dimensional geometry for a black hole is a sphere. This type of black hole
is called a Schwarzschild black hole. Kurt Schwarzschild was a German
astrophysicist who figured out the critical radius for a given mass which would
become a black hole. This calculation showed that at a specific point matter
would collapse to an infinitely dense state. This is known as singularity. Here
too, the pull of gravity is infinitely strong, and space and time can no longer
be thought of in conventional ways. At singularity, the laws defined by Newton
and Einstein no longer hold true, and a "myterious" world of quantum
gravity exists. In the Schwarzschild black hole, the event horizon, or skin of
the black hole, is the boundary beyond which nothing could escape the
gravitational pull. Most black holes would tend to be in a consistent spinning
motion, because of the original spin of the star. This motion absorbs various
matter and spins it within the ring that is formed around the black hole. This
ring is the singularity. The matter keeps within the Event Horizon until it has
spun into the center where it is concentrated within the core adding to the
mass. Such spinning black holes are known as Kerr Black Holes. Roy P. Kerr, an

Australian mathematician happened upon the solution to the Einstein equations
for black holes with angular momentums. This black hole is very similar to the
previous one. There are, however, some differences which make it more viable for real, existing ones. The singularity in the this hole is more time-like, while
the other is more space-like. With this subtle difference, objects would be able
to enter the black whole from regions away from the equator of the event horizon
and not be destroyed. The reason it is called a black hole is because any light
inside of the singularity would be pulled back by the infinite gravity so that
none of it could escape. As a result anything passing beyond the event horizon
would dissappear from sight forever, thus making the black hole impossible for
humans to see without using technologicalyl advanced instruments for measuring
such things like radiation. The second part of the name referring to the
"hole" is due to the fact that the actual hole, is where everything is
absorbed and where the center core presides. This core is the main part of the
black hole where the mass is concentrated and appears purely black on all
readings even through the use of radiation detection devices. The first
scientists to really take an in depth look at black holes and the collapsing of
stars, were a professor, Robert Oppenheimer and his student Hartland Snyder, in
the early nineteen hundreds. They concluded on the basis of Einstein's theory of
relativity that if the speed of light was the utmost speed over any massive
object, then nothing could escape a black hole once in it's clutches. It should
be noted, all of this information is speculation. In theory, and on Super
computers, these things do exist, but as scientists must admit, theyíve never
found one. So the question arises, how can we see black holes? Well, there are
several approaches to this question. Obviously, as realized from a previous
paragraph, by seeing, it isnít necessarily meant to be a visual
representation. So weíre left with two approaches. The first deals with X-ray
detection. In this precision measuring system, scientists would look for areas
that would create enormous shifts in energy levels. Such shifts would result
from gases that are sucked into the black hole. The enormous jolt in gravitation
would heat the gases by millions of degrees. Such a rise could be evidence of a
black hole. The other means of detection lies in another theory altogether. The
concept of gravitational waves could point to black holes, and researchers are
developing ways to read them. Gravitational Waves are predicted by Einsteinís

General Theory of Relativity. They are perturbations in the curvature of
spacetime. Sir Arthur Eddington was a strong supporter of Einstein, but was
skeptical of gravity waves and is reported to have said, "Graviatational
waves propagate at the speed of thought." But what they are is important to
a theory. Gravitational waves are enormous ripples eminating from the core of
the black hole and other large masses and are said to travel at the speed of
light, but not through spacetime, but rather as the backbone of spacetime
itself. These ripples pass straight through matter, and their strength weakens
as it gets farther from the source. The ripples would be similar to a stone
dropped in water, with larger ones toward the center and fainter ones along the
outer circumference. The only problem is that these ripples are so minute that
detecting them would require instrumentation way beyond our present
capabilities. Because theyíre unaffected by matter, they carry a pure signal,
not like X-rays which are diffused and distorted. In simulations the black hole
creates a unique frequency known as it natural mode of vibrations. This
fingerprint will undoubtedly point to a black hole, if itís ever seen. Just
recently a major discovery was found with the help of The Hubble Space

Telescope. This telescope has just recently found what many astronomers believe
to be a black hole, after being focused on a star orbiting an empty space.

Several picture were sent back to Earth from the telescope showing many computer
enhanced pictures of various radiation fluctuations and other diverse types of
readings that could be read from the area in which the black hole is suspected
to be in. Because a black hole floats wherever the star collapsed, the truth is,
it can vastly effect the surrounding area, which might have other stars in it.

It could also absorb a star and wipe it out of existance. When a black hole
absorbs a star, the star is first pulled into the Ergosphere, this is the area
between the event horizon and singularity, which sweeps all the matter into the
event horizon, named for it's flat horizontal appearance and critical properties
where all transitions take place. The black hole doesnít just pull the star in
like a vaccuum, rather it creates what is known as an accretion disk which is a
vortex like phenomenom where the starís material appears to go down the drain
of the black hole. When the star is passed on into the event horizon the light
that the star ordinarily gives off builds inside the ergosphere of the black
hole but doesnít escape. At this exact point in time, high amounts of
radiation are given off, and with the proper equipment, this radiation can be
detected and seen as an image of emptiness or as preferred, a black hole.

Through this technique astronomers now believe that they have found a black hole
known as Cygnus X1. This supposed black hole has a huge star orbiting around it,
therefore we assume there must be a black hole that it is in orbit with. Science

Fiction has used the black hole to come up with several movies and fantastical
events related to the massive beast. Tales of time travel and of parallel
universes lie beyond the hole. Passing the event horizon could send you on that
fantastical trip. Some think there would be enough gravitational force to
possible warp you to an end of the universe or possibly to a completely
different one. The theories about what could lie beyond a black hole are
endless. The real quest is to first find one. So the question remains, do they
exist? Black holes exist, unfortunately for the scientific community, their life
is restricted to formulas and super computers. But, and there is a but, the
scientific community is relentless in their quest to build a better means of
tracking. Already the advances of hyper-sensitive equipment is showing some good
signs, and the accuracy will only get better.