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Q & A: edge of black hole

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Most recent answer: 12/30/2017
Q:
I wanted to seek clarification on a question, relating to black holes. I recently listened to an audio physics course that described a person or object falling toward a black hole, saying that to an outside observer, the person would never appear to fall into the black hole, but rather that their image would simply "freeze " on the edge of the event horizon. If that's the case, how long would that image remain? Can we expect black holes to be surrounded by the preserved images of everything they've ever taken in?Thanks for any help you're able and willing to provide.
- Peter Dabbene (age 44)
Hamilton NJ USA
A:

if we understand correctly, the "image" becomes unrecognizable as it smears out into a tangle of ultra-tiny energy modes just on the surface. Probably the best guess now is that these modes are the entities of string theory. Imagine cutting up the image into little pieces of area ~10-70 m2 and shaking it up like puzzle pieces. There is then an extremely slow evaporation process for these. In the limit that one approximates the situation as having a fully formed black hole, what comes out is Hawking radiation. 

Mike W.


(published on 12/30/2017)

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