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2y3k » Why can’t light escape from a black hole?

Why can’t light escape from a black hole?

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If you stick to Newton’s gravitational pull completely, then explaining the problem of black holes becomes very difficult. We use Newton’s laws very well in everyday activities like playing pool or throwing balls – even rocket launches follow Newton’s laws. But when it comes to a complex problem like black holes, you have to start thinking about what attractive forces work in space. That’s what Einstein studied in the early 20th century. His theory of attractive force holds that the attractive force affects a combination of time and space called spacetime. Einstein believed that the attractive force distorts space-time so that light cannot travel in a straight line. Traveling in a straight line from point A to point B is the fastest way, unless it is not in a straight line.

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This will help you understand the following: You might think that the easiest way to get from London to Vancouver on the west coast of Canada is to fly across the Pacific Ocean in a straight line, but that’s not the case. They’ll fly north to Scotland and then over Greenland, because that’s the most direct and shortest voyage. The world is flat in our horizon — all the maps we use are flat — so it seems like a straight line across the sea is the shortest route. But if you look at a globe — a real simulation of the world, you’ll easily see that the shortest route is through a large arc in Greenland.

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The same applies to space-time. It seems to us that space is a flat surface, and this view is widely accepted, even for the thing we most want to do, which is to go to the moon. But once we start talking about places in space where the attractive force is very strong – such as black holes – we have to start thinking about the role of the attractive force in space-time. Imagine a trampoline with a straight line drawn here. If you put a heavy bag of potatoes in the middle of it, the trampoline will sink in the middle, and the straight line is no longer straight. So if you roll a pinball from one end of the trampoline to the other, it doesn’t follow a straight line on the trampoline, it curves on the trampoline. And that’s what happens between space-time and light. The attractive force distorts space-time, and light travels through space-time in a straight line that has been bent by the attractive force. The black hole distorts space-time so much that the straight line has actually been bent into a circle, and the light keeps spinning along the circular orbit until it disappears. So light cannot escape from the black hole.

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