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Black Holes Essay, Research Paper

Erwin Floresca


AST 2006-001

Dr. Carol A. Williams

Black Holes

As the nighttime sky falls upon us and we gaze at the beautiful stars, imagination takes one away from the limits of our solar system to the depths of a high-mass black hole. The universe that we live in contains unique and exciting matter that interests us to learn about all the variances that may only be viewed through a telescope. Within this marvel of wonders, our universe holds a mystery that cannot be defined by modern and classic theories of physics. This mystery happens to be that of the ever clandestine, black hole. Unlike the anatomy of main sequence stars, the black hole has different properties and processes that are generally involved with this interstellar phenomenon. All in all, black hole commonly forms and functions in certain traditions. In addition, black holes influence the intergalactic space as no other known matter does.

To gain a better understanding of the black hole, one must indulge their brain on the subject of how a black hole may come about. All black holes are formed from the gravitational collapse of a star, usually having a great, massive, core. A star is created when huge, gigantic, gas clouds bind together due to attractive forces and form a hot core, combined from all the energy of the two gas clouds. Energy produced by the clouds

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is so immense that the gases from within begin to nuclear react. The star begins nuclear reaction with universally abundant gas hydrogen. Following hydrogen fusion, the helium element becomes present after the core reaches a certain temperature (Kelvin). Carbon begins to bond as helium fusion is complete from core to surface. Star’s lifespan may exceed millions or even billions of years due to nuclear fusion. The star’s enduring conflict among gravity versus pressure and rotation prevents collapse. The gravitational pull from the core of the star is equal to the gravitational pull of the gases forming a type of orbit; however, when this equality is challenged, the star evolves through different stages. Usually if the star is minute in mass, most of the gases will be consumed while a percentage escapes. This occurs because a lack of tremendous gravitational pull upon those gases, and, therefore, the star loses energy and becomes smaller. It is then referred to as a White Dwarf. If the star was to have a larger mass, however, then it may possibly be a Supernova; hence, the nuclear synthesis within the star merely loses control causing the star to explode violently. After exploding, a fraction of the star becomes absent (if it has not turned into interstellar gas), and the remaining of the leftover supernova is known as a neutron star. Becoming a black hole is the last stage of star evolution in some stars. If the core of the star is so massive (approximately 6-8 solar masses), then it is of greater probability that when the star’s gases are almost consumed, those gases will collapse inward and will be forced into the core by the gravitational force laid upon them. After a black hole is created, the gravitational force maintains its attraction to the space debris in addition to interstellar matter to increase the mass of the core. This, in turn, makes the

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hole stronger and more powerful. In conclusion, a black hole is a massive star that has a gravitational field equal to or exceeding the speed of light.

The presence of black holes contains certain attributes that are necessary for detection. All black holes tend to be in binary star systems consisting of a spinning motion. This motion absorbs various matters and spins it within the black hole’s surface, known as the Event Horizon. The matter keeps within the Event Horizon until it has spun into the center, singularity, where it is concentrated within the core adding to the mass. Such spinning black holes are known as Kerr Black Holes. Most black holes orbit around stars, and this may be detrimental to neighboring stars. If a black hole is powerful enough, it may actually pull a star into its atmosphere and disrupt the orbit of many other stars. The black hole could then grow even stronger (from the addition of the star’s mass). When a black hole absorbs a star, the star is first pulled into the Ergosphere which sweeps all the matter into the Event Horizon, named for it’s flat horizontal appearance, and this happens to be the place where mostly all the action within the black hole occurs. When the star is passed on into the Event Horizon the light that the star endures is bent within the current and, therefore, cannot be seen in space. At this exact point in time, high amounts of radiation are given off and, with the proper equipment, can be detected through particular symbols as an image of a black hole. Through this technique astronomers now believe that they have found a black hole known as Cygnus X-1. This supposed black hole has a huge star orbiting around it; black holes may be detected in

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binary star systems. In conclusion, black holes have extreme amounts of gravity and give distinct indications that they exist in that lineage.

Black hole studies have recently been advanced due to a few. The first scientists to really take an in depth look at black holes and the collapsing of stars were professors 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 maximum speed over any colossal objects, then nothing could escape the tenacity of the gravity of a black hole. The name “black hole” was named such, because of the fact that light could not escape from the gravitational pull from the core, thus, making the black hole impossible for humans to view without using technological advancements for measuring such things like gamma radiation. “Hole” was assigned to ensue due to the fact that the actual hole is where everything is absorbed and where the center core presides (even though a black hole is not actually a hole). The 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. Just recently a major discovery was found with the help of a device known as the Hubble Telescope. This telescope has just recently found what many astronomers believe to be a black hole, after being focused on an star orbiting 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. Several diagrams were made showing how astronomers believe that if

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somehow you were to survive through the center of the black hole that there would be enough gravitational force to possible warp you to another end in the universe or possibly to another universe. The creative ideas that can be hypothesized from this discovery are endless.

Although our universe is filled with much unexplained, glorious, phenomenon, it is our duty to continue exploring them and to continue learning, but in the process we must not take any of it for granted. As you have read, black holes are a major obscurity within our universe, and they contain so much curiosity that they could possibly hold unlimited uses. Black holes are a sensation that astronomers are still very puzzled. It seems that as we get closer to solving their existence and functions, we just end up with more and more questions. Although these questions just lead us into more and more unanswered problems we seek and find refuge into them, dreaming that maybe one day, one far off distant day, we will understand all the conceptions and we will be able to use the universe to our advantage and go where only our dreams could take us.

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