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The Elements of Relativity$
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David M. Wittman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199658633

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199658633.001.0001

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Black Holes

Black Holes

Chapter:
(p.283) 20 Black Holes
Source:
The Elements of Relativity
Author(s):

David M. Wittman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199658633.003.0020

Black holes seem like something out of science fiction, but they are real. Now that we understand the relevant properties of gravity we can separate fact from fiction. We start by defining black holes and showing how they differ fromthe simple Newtonian idea of “no escape.” Time and space seem to swap meaning inside the black hole, so that “forward in time” is a direction that points toward the center of the black hole. We then look at the astrophysical evidence that black holes really exists: how we can observe them, as well as the limits to our observations.We then examine facts andmyths about black holes, including tidal effects such as spaghettification. Finally, because black holes in nature spin rapidly, we look at gravitomagnetic effects around rapidly spinning black holes.

Keywords:   black hole, dark star, escape velocity, Schwarzschild metric, event horizon, gravitational redshift, spaghettification, accretion disk, gravitomagnetism, Kerr metric

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