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Posted by Astrophysicist on June 30, 1998 21:12:11 UTC

Jeez, look at this... This new base posting of yours is only a day old, and already there are seven replies to it (of course, the fact that they are from three people is quite irrelevant; it's still good!) Anyways, no. I'm not really sure how particles borrow energy from other places like that, but I can explain about vacuum fluctuations, which are somewhat similar (it's related, anyways): vacuum fluctuations can occur outside the event horizon of a black hole. What they are are minute fluctuaions of energy that form when a source, regardless of what it is, attempts to create a true vacuum. What happens is, basically, this: tiny strings of energy form in random positions near the horizon. They form where previously there was zero energy. This is where it gets wierd. They say that these strings borrow energy from other regions of zero energy, leaving them with a negative amount, and use that borrowed energy to create a particle. Sort of. Don't ask me how negative energy comes into being (or lack of being?), but those physicists say that it happens. Anyways, the particle that is created is only a temporary particle, and doesn't really have any energy of its own. However, it absorbs gravitational energy from the hole and, using that energy, turns itself into a permanent particle. But the net total of the energy in the region will remain at or VERY near zero. Sorry if that's confusing, but it's quantum mechanics we're talking about!

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