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 Black hole limit?

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ANGELSKY



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PostSubject: Black hole limit?    Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:27 pm

I have heard that black holes have a size or mass limit. What does this mean? Do they stop feeding and growing? I can't imagine them just stopping taking in material.
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AstroTurk

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PostSubject: Re: Black hole limit?    Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:28 pm

It means that in the universe we observe, there are none larger than a certain size (10-20 billion times the mass of our Sun). Not that they couldn't get bigger if you added more mass, just that the physical reality of how they were created and developed limited how big they COULD get with the matter available.
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ANGELSKY



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PostSubject: Re: Black hole limit?    Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:29 pm

If a black hole absorbed the entire universe, would it become much more massive, much bigger in size, or both? Could this be the big bang if a black hole absorbed everything and couldn't handle it, then blows up into all existence?
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starhopper

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PostSubject: Re: Black hole limit?    Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:29 pm

ANGELSKY wrote:
If a black hole absorbed the entire universe, would it become much more massive, much bigger in size, or both? Could this be the big bang if a black hole absorbed everything and couldn't handle it, then blows up into all existence?

Technically, if a black hole absorbed the entire universe, it wouldn't be a black hole anymore.
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AstroTurk

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PostSubject: Re: Black hole limit?    Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:30 pm

ANGELSKY wrote:
If a black hole absorbed the entire universe, would it become much more massive, much bigger in size, or both? Could this be the big bang if a black hole absorbed everything and couldn't handle it, then blows up into all existence?

As far as anyone knows the mere laws of physics provide no upper limit to the mass or size of a black hole, even if the mass were quadrillions of times the mass of the universe. I often hear questions from people with the idea you're asking about, but the answer is no.
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ANGELSKY



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PostSubject: Re: Black hole limit?    Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:31 pm

Why is the answer no? I accept that answer, but I am curious because our understanding of physics break down inside a black hole, therefore how can we KNOW that this is not possible?
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AstroTurk

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PostSubject: Re: Black hole limit?    Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:33 pm

Let me just add that our laws of physics don't break down inside a black hole, but only at the singularity in the center. We have no problem describing the interior of a black hole in the sense of inside the event horizon. So the question would really become "what is on the other 'side' of the singularity?", and the answer to that is: we haven't got a clue. You could of course note that our universe is "on the other side of a singularity" (see the big bang), so i presume that's where all the speculation regarding that comes from. I think there actually have been a couple of papers exploring such ideas, but they remain pure speculation nonetheless.

The funny thing with this singularity business is that the problem of solving for the future evolution of one is so unconstrained that saying it will "spew out copies of the Mona Lisa" is just as good as anything else Laughing
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