1742 words - 7 pages

Review of Literature

I. Introduction: What is a black hole?

A black hole could be referred to as the cold remnants of earlier stars. To be more exact it is a region of space having a gravitational field. This field is so intense that no radiation or matter could escape its force. Not even light can escape a black hole and the speed of light is approximately 299,792,458 meters per second. A black hole is also very dense.

The idea of a black hole was formed in 1783 by John Mitchell (1724-1793). He created the idea while thinking of a hypothetical method to figure out a star’s mass. Mitchell thought that by measuring the speed of light he could find the mass of a star, but he was wrong. In 1905, Albert Einstein (1879-1955) made the theory that no matter what the strength of gravity is, the speed of light will always be a constant speed. Einstein published his theory of gravity in 1916, which is when the idea of black holes were rediscovered. Karl Schwarzschild (1873-1916) envisioned a black hole as a concentrated mass that was centered in a spherical volume of warped space when he answered Einstein’s equations for a black hole. Later on, along with others, Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) came up with the idea that a black hole could have been formed by the collapse of a massive star. The name “black hole” was conceived in 1968 by John Wheeler (1911-2008) a Princeton physicist. Wheeler then made further details to a black hole’s properties.

A black hole has an event horizon. Event horizon, by definition is a boundary around a black hole beyond which no light or other radiation can escape; a point of no return (www.dictionary.com). A Schwarzschild radius is the radius of the boundary of a spherical object in space. If you enter a black hole spaghettification will occur. In this theory an object would be stretched and ripped apart by gravitational forces. When you enter the event horizon is when spaghettification will start to occur. There are a majority of theories about what would happen if you entered a black hole.

II. Gravity and Mass

A black hole has a very powerful gravitational pull. Not even light can escape a black hole because its gravity is very strong. For the sun to have a gravity as strong as a black hole you would have to compress it down by several orders of magnitude. The same thing applies for the earth. Now, a rocket ship has the power to leave the earth and travel to the moon. If you would compress the earth to the size of a marble it would have the same gravity as a black hole. For that to happen, we would never be able to leave the earth. That is just like nothing would be able to leave a black hole. Newton’s law of gravity (F = Gm1m2/d2 ) can be used to determine the gravity of a black hole.

A black hole has a mass. A stellar black hole usually has a mass of one to ten solar masses. A supermassive black hole usually ranges from 0.1 million to ten...

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