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Thread: Dumb Questions Revisited

  1. #1 Dumb Questions Revisited 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Is a super massive Black Hole the closest thing there is to nothing in the universe?

    All this talk of singularities, no beginning, no time, space or energy has me wondering.


    Last edited by zinjanthropos; August 13th, 2011 at 01:07 PM.
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  3. #2  
    Forum Junior brane wave's Avatar
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    Probably a difficult question to answer,as the known laws of physics seem to break down regarding singularities and black holes.
    maybe in the future the answer will become apparent;meaning-as we further understand the 'laws' of the universe,and expand our rationalle perhaps,only then will we be able to comprehend the information.
    My particular favourite explanations(which i have formulated),are focused on the very nature of this subject.


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    The laws exist for black holes. The figures are just much higher.

    In the BB singularity, gravity did not originally exist. With a BB, you feel the gravity from the central mass (ie: gravity does not stop gravity so the speed limit can be ignored) as in we have no evidence that fundamental particles can break down, and something as big as neutrons exist in a neutron star with an escape velocity of 2/3 c.

    A black hole is not so much nothing as a sink hole from our universe where it is said that when something goes "down it", it is gone forever. However it's gravity is still there so something rather than nothing.

    A better approximation of nothing, as far as we can tell from very great distances are the voids that exist in our universe, the largest of which is 3.5 billion light years across.

    Time has always existed, or nothing would have ever existed.
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    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberia View Post
    A black hole is not so much nothing as a sink hole from our universe where it is said that when something goes "down it", it is gone forever. However it's gravity is still there so something rather than nothing.
    Here's what goes on in the confused mind of a common layman. More dumb questions coming right up. I'm not embarrassed by them and I'm glad that I'm at least thinking, an enjoyable pastime:

    I read all this talk about the BB being the beginning of everything yet it's coming from nothing. If so then could there be a relationship between mass and nothingness? I mean at the moment something came from nothing did both exist and if so then could nothingness be associated with a repulsive force? and does mass tend to gravitate towards a return to nothingness?
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    Moderator Moderator Dishmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    I read all this talk about the BB being the beginning of everything yet it's coming from nothing.
    Says who? This is just the common popularisation. Nobody knows.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    ]Here's what goes on in the confused mind of a common layman. More dumb questions coming right up. I'm not embarrassed by them and I'm glad that I'm at least thinking, an enjoyable pastime:

    I read all this talk about the BB being the beginning of everything yet it's coming from nothing. If so then could there be a relationship between mass and nothingness? I mean at the moment something came from nothing did both exist and if so then could nothingness be associated with a repulsive force? and does mass tend to gravitate towards a return to nothingness?

    Something which is puzzling the world's greatest minds is hardly a "dumb question".

    I think one idea is that the BB came from elsewhere in a multiverse, which preserves overall amounts of matter and energy in the multiverse, so nothing new is created.

    All the pluses and minuses, all the matter, energy, gravity, etc in the (known) universe was added up and the answer was nothing. They balanced out.

    Mass is something, on the plus side, so as it now exists, it isn't anything to do with nothing.

    Could it return to nothing? Who knows? We have virtual particles which appear and vanish again but it does sound doubtful when applied to black holes.

    If a repulsive force existed in the BB, possibly it was what they now call "dark energy"?
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    Moderator Moderator Dishmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberia View Post
    If a repulsive force existed in the BB, possibly it was what they now call "dark energy"?
    Quite unlikely, because the gravitational force is reduced with the distance from the gravitating mass, while the thing that is called "Dark Energy" is a constant across the entire universe, i.e. it does not dilute with expansion.
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    Not as far back as the BB I know, but I was under the impression that dark energy could have been there since the end of the inflationary epoch as a constant, but would not have had any measurable effect until the expansion of the universe had time to reduce the density of the universe to a point where the influence of dark energy would overcome the influence of gravity across large distances.

    There is speculation that dark energy might be a remnant of the inflaton field of inflationary theory, which perhaps did not go to a zero value in the phase transition at the end of the inflationary epoch.

    Or something along those lines!
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    Forum Junior brane wave's Avatar
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    Perhaps slightly off topic...maybe not,it was an equation from Dirac that showed how something can from nothing,albeit for a limited time
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dishmaster View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberia View Post
    If a repulsive force existed in the BB, possibly it was what they now call "dark energy"?
    Quite unlikely, because the gravitational force is reduced with the distance from the gravitating mass, while the thing that is called "Dark Energy" is a constant across the entire universe, i.e. it does not dilute with expansion.
    Can't we trace dark energy to just several billion years ago when the rate of expansion increased?
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    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    More dumb questions: Does a black hole actually attract space-time or only distort it? I only ask because I'm confused as to whether space and time was actually a constituent of the BB singularity.
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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    183951.image0.jpg

    Think of a black hole as something like the above picture. In normal space, you are free to move around as you wish, but once you have crossed the threshold of an event horizon, then all paths you can take will take you closer to the centre of the black hole from an outside perspective. In the above image, you will follow a spiral path to the bottom of the cone. Outside of the event horizon, you will experience the gravity of the black hole exactly as you would any other mass of equal value. Mass does not attract space-time, the gravity associated with mass is a "bending" of it in GR terms. Look again at the funnel above. For a 2D being living on the plane of the 2d representation, the shape can be described mathematically using only two dimensions. Similarly, 3D space can be described as "bent" by gravity using only three dimensions. It is not simply that the being could not move fast enough to escape the black hole, it is that no paths exist to the outside, i.e. left, right, up, down, forward and backward for that being all point away from the event horizon towards the centre, from an outside perspective.

    As for the BB singularity, there is still no certainty as to exactly what it was that "exploded". Time is defined as the measurement of relative movement, so, if a singularity did exist, there would have been no passage of time, since there was quite literally only one "place" there, a single dimensionless point. As such, there was also no space. BUT, space-time is more complex. It is a 4D coordinate system where all space, time and events exist simultaneously. But, as far as I know, this only works from the moment after the initial "bang". The singularity is a discontinuity, a place where the maths fail essentially, so an expression of space-time in the singularity is undefined as it were.

    I might need correction though.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
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    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    As for the BB singularity, there is still no certainty as to exactly what it was that "exploded". Time is defined as the measurement of relative movement, so, if a singularity did exist, there would have been no passage of time, since there was quite literally only one "place" there, a single dimensionless point. As such, there was also no space.
    So could the universe recreate a BB? It sounds as if a singularity is something that can bring together or already have all the ingredients for our universe but cannot hold on to them, because if it could then it wouldn't have 'exploded'.
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    Is a super massive Black Hole the closest thing there is to nothing in the universe?

    Not at all. You are forgetting that the 'singularity' they talk about is a mathematical tool based on the center of gravity. Black holes could be huge and heavy enough to affect whole galaxies. Certainly not a 'nothing.'
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    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinajon View Post
    Is a super massive Black Hole the closest thing there is to nothing in the universe?

    Not at all. You are forgetting that the 'singularity' they talk about is a mathematical tool based on the center of gravity. Black holes could be huge and heavy enough to affect whole galaxies. Certainly not a 'nothing.'
    What I am alluding to is this: If the universe started from nothing and the singularity was the first something then it contained all the ingredients to manufacture the cosmos. My question assumes that a BH is the closest thing we have to a singularity, thus the reference to nothing. I understand more about singularities now because of some of the answers I received. For that I thank everyone.

    So with that in mind I'll continue my questioning. If eventually all the BH's come together to form one, what would happen next?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chinajon View Post
    Is a super massive Black Hole the closest thing there is to nothing in the universe?

    Not at all. You are forgetting that the 'singularity' they talk about is a mathematical tool based on the center of gravity. Black holes could be huge and heavy enough to affect whole galaxies. Certainly not a 'nothing.'
    What I am alluding to is this: If the universe started from nothing and the singularity was the first something then it contained all the ingredients to manufacture the cosmos. My question assumes that a BH is the closest thing we have to a singularity, thus the reference to nothing. I understand more about singularities now because of some of the answers I received. For that I thank everyone.

    So with that in mind I'll continue my questioning. If eventually all the BH's come together to form one, what would happen next?
    Since they won't, it's a moot point.
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