What Exactly Are Black Holes and What Happens Inside Them?
What Exactly Are Black Holes and What Happens Inside Them?

In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate the imagination and open up new possibilities. Share your thoughts with us on these sometimes controversial topics in the comments section below.

We don’t really know what happens inside a black hole, but there are some fascinating theories surrounding this great mystery. Here is an eight-point overview of our understanding of black holes. 

1. Point-of-No-Return

The event horizon is understood as a sort of point-of-no-return that surrounds a black hole. Once an object crosses it, we’re not really sure what happens, but it doesn’t ever seem to come back—at least not in a recognizable form.

2. Tearing Objects to Pieces

According to Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, an object that passes the event horizon would not experience any immediate change. The immense pressure of gravity inside the hole would increase as the object enters deeper into the hole. Eventually, the pull of gravity would tear the object apart into extremely tiny pieces. 

Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein (Oren Jack Turner)

3. Singularities, Singularly Perplexing

Einstein also hypothesized that at the center of black holes are space-time singularities. Singularities are extremely tiny, extremely dense, and extremely mysterious. Scientists don’t know much about them except that they exist, and that a singularity may have been the origin of the known universe. 

4. Hawking Says Black Holes Leak

In 1974, famed British physicist Stephen Hawking presented the popular theory that radiation leaks out of black holes. This leakage causes the black holes to slowly shrink and eventually evaporate.

Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking (NASA)

5. Quantum Mechanics Contradicts Einstein, Greater Confusion Ensues

According to quantum physics, when entangled particles are separated and some leave the black hole, immense amounts of energy are generated. This energy creates a firewall at the event horizon, incinerating anything that enters. This contradicts Einstein’s well-established theories, according to which, as mentioned above, an object is not incinerated, but rather pulled apart by gravity.

6. Advancing Out of Confusion

This contradiction lies at the heart of the mystery. “It’s not so much that there’s a mistake, but somehow, some assumption that we believe about quantum mechanics and gravity is wrong, and we’re trying to figure out what it is,” Indiana University physicist Nikodem Poplawski told PBS. “It’s confusion, but it’s confusion that we hope makes us ripe for advance.” 

Poplawski has suggested that at the center of a black hole could be a wormhole to another universe, and the substance and force that created our universe through the Big Bang may have come through such a wormhole. 

7. Hawking Says ‘There Are No Black Holes’

Earlier this year, Hawking suggested the firewall does not exist and that matter and energy are suspended on the other side of the event horizon. The matter and energy do re-emerge from the hole, but the process is unpredictable.  It may shift and change and it basically can never be reassembled in its original form.

He wrote in a paper titled “Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes”: “…There are no black holes—in the sense of regimes from which light can’t escape. … There are however apparent horizons which persist for a period of time.”

He continued later in the paper: “The chaotic collapsed object will radiate deterministically but chaotically. It will be like weather forecasting on Earth. That is unitary, but chaotic, so there is effective information loss. One can’t predict the weather more than a few days in advance.”

Hawking’s new theories have yet to undergo peer review, and other physicists caution that they do not necessarily signal a breakthrough in understanding black holes.

8. Astronomers May Soon See a Black Hole in Action Like Never Before

A gas cloud is approaching the supermassive black hole in the center of our Milky Way and astronomers are eager to see what happens next. A black hole has never been observed in action at such close range. It is very difficult to tell what black holes are doing when observed in distant regions of the cosmos. The pending observation could provide the breakthrough in understanding black holes. 

*Artist’s rendering of a black hole via Shutterstock

  • HeyJude

    I clicked on “start the discussion” but I can’t. I always have more questions than ideas and answers. OK, I have NO answers. Or ideas. :-) Always hard to wrap my head around black hole scientific theory, but I want to learn. I’ll just keep reading until something sinks in.

    • Joseph

      It seems that there are a number of hypothesis but much of the math is unsettled and even Hawking is uncertain – a sure sign that I will be uncertain. Like the loss of the airliner, I’m sure there are any number of goat herders that will keep us posted with nonsense while we are trying to enjoy a beer. Luck!

      • HeyJude

        :-) Soo..can we also do beer until Hawking makes up his mind? I’m ok with that.
        Cheers!
        The next time someone asks about black holes I’m stealing your line. Shaking my head wisely while saying “Much of the math is unsettled……..” It will make it
        sound like I’d understand the math, if only it was more settled. :-)

        • Joseph

          Exactly! And if you are having a beer while you are pontificating it’s even better. Best is to have the other guy buy the beer.

          • HeyJude

            “Dimensional studies? I feel String Theory has a few more years to go with working on the applicable equations …..” I’m getting the hang of this. :-) Bottoms up!

          • Joseph

            My lady crocheted a doily out of strings and it’s very nice but when I set my beer on it, it disappears. Clearly some kinks need to be worked out of her patern.

          • HeyJude

            :-) I’ve heard there is a theory that strings make good doilies, but my husband believes that they make good bikinis. Obviously there is no agreement in the applications of String Theory!!

          • Joseph

            Just be careful of the multi-dimentional polarization or the placement of the stings may cause some the naughty bits to change dimensions – and you know the paper work it would take to get them back.

          • HeyJude

            Don’t I know it, I’d rather mess with the space/time continuim than risk that!

          • Joseph

            Indeed. they messed with the space time continuum in Washington State and eleventy billion tons of mud re-polarized itself on the way down hill. Buy them books, they eat the covers.

          • HeyJude

            Yes, jeeez, what an awful event, terrible loss of life. Gravity…now that I understand. And perhaps plumbing….water runs downhill.

          • Joseph

            Yep. But this is how it goes: I bought the Caruthers land out along the county road. rally. What are you going to do with it? I gonna build my dream home. You know, of course, the whole hill is nothing more than loosely consolidated volcanic ash that, in a good rain, will turn into a a giant sloppy tater-tot casserole and slide for a mile, right? Yeah. So now what are you going to do? I’m gonna build the main house over there by those trees.
            Belief in God is one thing but belief that god will alter the laws of chemistry and physics for you is quite another.

          • HeyJude

            That is the same issue with everyone who wants to build, rebuild, and then rebuild again at ocean front. I understand the appeal, but you better know when you do it that if the ocean decides to take it, it will. Big difference, of course, is that large storms and hurricanes are seen before they get there. No one need lose their lives over it. No such heads up with building in a tater-tot area casserole area. Mud slide can happen at any time, or not. And you’re right, people never think it will happen to them. They will recognize there might be a risk, but naaaahhhh, won’t happen to me.

          • Joseph

            OK, you’re hired. I like it when peole tell me I’m right (even if they’re wrong). No pay but there is always beer in the refrigerator and when you get promoted to management you learn the secret place I keep the Rye.

          • HeyJude

            Aha…wrangled a job, did I? You won’t be sorry….I think it was soooo right of you to pair those red shorts with both belt and suspenders today, don’t let anyone tell ya different. :-) Now for negotiations, I’m not really a drinker….if you could stock the company fridge with ice-cream and the drawers with peanut butter cups, I think we can work out a contract. Upon promotion I’d want to know where “we” keep the M&M’s. Deal?

          • rg9rts

            Oats lots and lots of oats alfalfa too

          • HeyJude

            Hey, you…I’m wheeling and dealing for some good ice cream here, you pipe down over there, ya hear? LOL

          • Joseph

            Well, the shorts are more a tangerine but you’re close. I suppose you want some fancy ice cream? If not the M&M’s aer in the five gallon jar on my desk. You can’t miss them. Or oats and alfallfa but they have to stay in the outer office.

          • HeyJude

            Tangerine! LMAO Now I wish you had your web cam on while typing.
            I’m not picky, anything chocolate will do…but if you sprang for sprinkles I wouldn’t complain. 5 gallon jar, man I’m going to like working here. Ignore that guy below with his oats and alfalfa…my friend rg makes it his life goal to mess with me. :-)
            BTW, it has been really fun getting to know you, Joseph. This conversation has taken many turns, and I’m enjoying it. Finding another willing banterer (is that a word?) is always good.

          • Joseph

            “banterer”, I believe that is the masculine form derived from the ancient Croat. “bantertte” is the feminine derived, oddly, from eastern Hungary meaning to “fetch the lizard it is time to pray”. Hungarians were always a little odd. But they do have a a dish named after them ‘Hungarian Goulash”. As far as I can tell “goulash” translates from the Mongolian as chopped socks with tomatoes but much has been lost in the ebb and flow of history. Plus I am neither Hungarian or Mongolian but I did stay in Holiday Inn Express one time. Chocolate, hm? You’re too easy. I was thinking you go for fermented mares milk and pomegranate.

          • Joseph

            It has been a voyage of discovery with the need for high boots. I’m puzzling over how we got from black holes to oats, am&M’s and ice cream but I have been known to runoff a rhetorical cliff on occasion.

          • HeyJude

            You are right, of course. :-) Very puzzling….apparently 2 with the same affliction ran across each other and this is how it plays out. I’m pretty sure we’re just biding time until Hawking gets the math “settled.”

          • Joseph

            Keep up the flattery and soon you wlll have your own bottle of M&M’s.

          • HeyJude

            Oh, my…I had no idea my job would start so soon after negotiations, but of course you are RIGHT about just going for it. And you are RIGHT about word origins, too, I am going to learn so much here. Ironic, I am neither Hungarian or Mongolian either, but I do believe in a past life I must have been Hungarian. Not to brag, but no one looks more fetching in a babushka than I do, I will start wearing them to work on days not designated as mandatory PJ’s. And more…I have been known to throw varied foot wear in a pot with tomatoes and call it dinner! I’ve never been to one of those highbrow HIE places, but a stay at Motel 6 gave me complete understanding of the Amazonian dwellers. I think it may have been the snakes and insects…quite the re-creation!
            I shy away from fermenting the mares milk, ever since the mare ended up on the neighhhhhhhbors couch with a hangover. It was ugly, she was behaving like an a**. And the mare was not happy, either. Ok, really have to go…. time to pray, where is my lizard?

          • Joseph

            Alas, we are all Hungarians now – since the demise of the last dwarf ichthyosaur was mistakenly cooked in a soup for Count Valydmir of Podgorneyve. Since formal retirement I only were my Franciscan monks robe – 100% wool and very warm and it lets the air flow around the, uh, naughty bits when I’m running from the attendants. Just about anything will work with tomatoes. Except pineapple – but it may be an acquired taste. My cousin liked it but his father drove over his head with a tractor a few weeks before he acquired the taste. Coincidence? The Vet didn’t think so.

    • rg9rts

      Think of it like hay…..put it in one end and it disappears into the black hole only to appear on the other side of the universe in a completely altered state.

      • HeyJude

        Now you’re speaking my language. I’m in an altered state over at Rabin, just posted to you there. :-)

  • Haruko Haruhara

    It would be fun to go through one if there was a way to do it without being crushed.

    • Better Gamer

      Yeah, the crushing part would suck lol.

  • JasmineStarlight

    “A gas cloud is approaching the supermassive black hole in the center of our Milky Way and astronomers are eager to see what happens next. A black hole has never been observed in action at such close range”
    When is this happening?? Can’t wait to see what they find observing it. I like the idea of multiple universes. It’s amazing to me, how man even discovered the black holes and some understanding of the universe….though math, which we created too. Imagine cave man to rocket ships–satellites-etc.. Scientist will be busy forever it seems, understanding our surroundings. :)

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