What is a black hole? A black hole is a great amount of matter packed into a very small area. Think of it this way: imagine our sun compacted into Austin, Texas. Phenomenal cosmic power in an itty-bitty living space.
A black hole is one of the most fantastic things ever predicted by modern science. It is a place where gravity is so strong that nothing --not even light-- can escape. It is a place where gravity is so strong that a hole has been rent in the very fabric of space and time. Surrounding this yawning chasm is a 'horizon' in the geometry of space where time itself stands still. And inside this hole, beyond this horizon, the directions of space and time are interchanged.
When a bigger star falls in on itself it keeps going to make a stellar black hole (“Black Holes: Facts”). The biggest black hole also known as the supermassive black hole is believed to be in the center of every galaxy even in the Milky Way (“Black Holes: Facts”). Also supermassive black holes are millions to billions of time...
Ever since Einstein described the theory of relativity and predicted black holes, in 1915, they've caught the imagination of the human mind. Most people didn't believe such a wild and mysterious concept, and the people that did, thought of black holes as monsters sucking in everything around them. "...the notion of a collapsed star wasn't taken seriously until astronomers started spotting giant stars orbiting indiscernible points in the 1960's."(Vergano, Dan) Then, human technology had advanced enough to prove and begin understanding black holes. Through research, studies, and many amazing pieces of equipment astronomers have discovered that black holes are much more significant than once believed. Black holes are the suspenders of the Universe.
Starting with black holes, Khalili describes the creation of one. I found that a black hole is what remains when a massive star dies. Because stars are so massive and made out of gas, there is an intense gravitational field that is always trying to collapse the star. As the star dies, the nuclear fusion reactions stop because the fuel for these reactions gets burned up. At the same time, the star's gravity pulls material inward and compresses the core. As the core compresses, it heats up and eventually creates a supernova explosion in which the material and radiation blasts out into space. What remains is the highly compressed and extremely massive core. The core's gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape. This object is now a black hole and literally cannot be seen because of the absence of light. Because the core's gravity is so strong, the core sinks through the fabric of space-time, creating a hole in space-time. The core becomes the central part of the black hole called the singularity. The opening of the hole is called the event horizon. Khalili describes that there are two different kinds of black holes:
Imagine this: no light, no sound, total pitch black darkness. Once you’re in this location, you can never leave. This is what most people envision when they think of a black hole. As for myself, I think of a super-sized vacuum cleaner and the text book confirms my analogy of a vacuum. The boundary of a black hole is called an event horizon and anything that crosses it gets trapped in the black hole (Fix, 2011, p. 489). Once the vacuum sucks an item up, it is gone forever, never to be seen again. In all actuality, there is a better definition. A black hole is thought to be created by the death or collapse of a massive star. It is an object in space where the gravitation pull is so strong that nothing, including light, can escape (Black Holes). The boundary of a black hole is called an event horizon and anything that crosses it gets trapped in the black hole.
For thousands of years, philosophers and astronomers have been trying to determine the origin of our universe. The twentieth century proved to be a time of intense research in the fields of astronomy and physics. While science still searches for the solution uniting general relativity and quantum mechanics, some astrophysicists have conjectured about the implications of quantum gravity for the universe’s existence. The most exotic objects in our universe, black holes, may hold the key to the creation of our universe. Physicist Lee Smolin has been one of the most prominent theorists in this area of astrophysics. Smolin’s theory of cosmological natural selection attempts to explain the origin of our universe and its fundamental characteristics by using black hole singularities. While the theory has not been proven, its assumptions are based on the theory of evolution and provide a fascinating perspective into the nature of our universe.
Black holes are points in space where there are extreme gravitational pulls that prevent anything, including light, from escaping. The reason for such a strong gravitational pull is due to vast amounts of matter being contained in a small amount of space. Stellar black holes form from stars with a mass greater than 20 solar masses and can be a result of gravitational collapse. Gravitational collapse is a result of the star’s internal pressure not being able to resist the stars own gravity. When the star is exhausted of its nuclear fuel such that it cannot maintain a high enough temperature it will begin to collapse under its own weight (Seidel 2011). As the star collapses it causes a supernova which blasts the outer layers of the star into space while the core completely collapses under its own weight. If the remnant core left behind exceeds 3 solar masses there are no known forces that can prevent the core from completely collapsing into a black hole (p. 568 Bennett et al. 2013)