• March 14, 2020, 7:37 a.m.

    I’ve been rewatching some old SFIA YouTube vids, hoping my brain has expanded a bit to take more in.
    I watched a number of episodes on black holes. Black hole ships has a reference to a paper by Louis Crane and Shawn Westmoreland, which I read (but it’s a bit above my brain’s pay grade).
    Anyway, it says we could focus gamma lasers at a point and with enough energy, we’d get a black hole. And then it goes on to say that one of these (generated) black holes, depending on the mass, would have a certain size. For instance a mass of a million tonnes might be an attometre in size.
    A million tonnes of mass...From where? I mean, we didn’t shovel any garbage into it, no old skyscrapers or use-before-date aircraft carriers. We just shone lasers at it, so where does all the mass come from? What am I missing, here?

  • March 18, 2020, 8:32 p.m.

    You've heard the saying that mass and energy are pretty much the same. However its not exactly true, but close enough for the average person to wrap their head around. The thing about black holes though is energy density. When enough energy is packed into small enough pockets of space, that energy sinks further and further, faster and faster into the well its creating. Just as a planet or star has a gravity well. Black holes follow the same general rules, the differences however are the extreme effects such a well has on the very space around it. Just by its rotational speed it can twist and wrap itself in the space around it. Now the energy portion equates to energy density yes, and every atom has bound energy that bonds the atoms, electrons, quarks, etc together. Heavier the metal, the more energy that is contained in the bonds holding it together, again coming down to neutrons, electrons, etc. Energy is energy, whether massless or not. I am sleep exhausted so I repeated myself a bit and didn not explain very well, but I hope it was well enough to convey a better understanding. If you wish for a deeper explination, I remember PBS spacetime had an episode that explained it much better than I can, sleep exhausted or no.

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