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					Black holes. They act like huge drains in the universe. Frightening?
Fascinating? Or just fantasy? The very concept of black holes confuses
our commonsense notions of matter, time and space. The theory that black
holes can, and probably do, exist in space doesn't only concern
scientists and astronomers. For if the theory is valid, we must question
all our basic physical laws and, indeed, our "normal" experience of the
physical world around us.Thomas Sabo Earrings2.What is a black hole?
Well, it's difficult to answer this question, since the terms we would
normally use to describe a scientific phenomenon are inadequate here.
Astronomers and scientists think that a black hole is a region of space
(not a thing) into which matter has fallen and from which nothing can
escape-not even light. So we can't see a-buck hole. A black hole exerts a
strong gravitational pull and yet it has no matter. It is only pace-or so
we think. How can this happen?3.The theory is that some stars explode
when their density increases to a particular point; they "collapse" and
sometimes a supernova occurs. The collapse of a star may produce a "White
Dwarf" or a "neutron star"-a star whose matter is so dense that it
continually shrinks by the force of its own gravity. But if the star is
very large (much bigger than our sun) this process of shrinking may be so
intense that a black hole results. Imagine the earth reduced to the size
of a marble, but still having the same mass and a stronger gravitational
pull, and you have some idea of the force of a black hole. Any matter
near the black hole is sucked in. It is impossible to say what happens
inside a black hole.4.Our space and time laws don't seem to apply to
objects in the area of a black hole.Einstein's relativity theory is the
only one that can explain such phenomena. Einstein claimed that matter
and energy are interchangeable, so that there is no "absolute" time and
space. There are no.constants at all, and measurements of time and space
depend on the position of the observer-they are relative. We do not yet
fully understand the implications of relativity theory; but it is
interesting that Einstein's theory provided a basis for the idea of black
holes before astronomers started to find some evidence for their
existence. It is only recently that astronomers have begun specific
research into black holes.5.The most convincing evidence of black holes
comes from research into binary star systems. In some binary systems,
astronomers have shown that there is an invisible companion star, a
"partner" to the one which we can see in the sky. There is one star,
called by its catalogue number HDE 226868, which must have a partner.
This partner star, it seems, has a mass ten or twenty times greater than
the sun-yet we can't see it. Matter from HDE 226868 is being dragged
towards this companion star. Could this invisible star, which exerts such
a great force, be a black hole? Astronomers have evidence of a few other
stars too, which might have black holes as companions. Thomas Sabo
Rings6.The story of black holes is just beginning. Speculations about
them are endless. There might be a massive black hole at the center of
our galaxy swallowing up stars at a very rapid rate. Mankind may one day
meet this fate. On the other hand, scientists have suggested that very
advanced technology could one day harness the energy of black holes for
man's use on the earth. There are also suggestions that black holes could
be used to create bombs in the future, by amplifying radio waves sent up
to them. These speculations sound like science fiction. But the theory of
black holes in space is accepted by many serious scientists and
astronomers. They show us a world which operates in a totally different
way from our own and they question our most basic experience of space and
time.


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posted:10/21/2011
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