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Re: Black Hole Question

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Posted by Bruce Jensen/">Bruce Jensen on May 1, 1997 15:14:27 UTC

:Sarah - I think the answer you are looking for is, YES, if you were immediately outside the event horizon, you would be pulled into the black hole if you were not travelling very near the speed of light. It is precisely at the event horizon that the photons become helpless against the intractable acceleration of the black hole's gravity, and are "sucked in." It is interesting to note that, due to the remarkable charcteristics of light (always travels at the same speed regardless of the reference grid) and the requirements of relativity, that an observer at that point would see the event horizon expanding toward her at the speed of light (how else could it "catch up" with the photon if the photons speed is constant?). What a scary thought!

: I'll tell you what I think is also fascinating - there is a particle called a tachyon (perhaps you've heard of it) that travels only faster than photons, and (strangely) travles faster and faster as it loses energy - sort of a mirror to the slower-than-light world of matter. What happens when one of these babies comes up to an event horizon? Does it's excessive speed prevent it from being sucked into the singularity? Or does the fact that it loses energy as it speeds up theoretically make it fair game for the annihilator? Or perhaps, it's mirror-like quality actually creates a "repellant force" that acts opposite of gravity, except in it's own tachyon world...boy, is this weird!...BJ

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