11 Jan 2018           home | science and technology

Black Hole Basics

Last night on the PBS television program Nova, we were lectured about Black Holes — the title: "Black Hole Apocalypse." An hour and fifteen minutes into the program I started dozing off. I thought they had already covered the basics, so I went to bed. Here are the basics as I understand them.

The cosmos consists of substance that can be described as waves of electro-magnetism. (Magnetism is one of those realities we humans are not equipped to sense. We can't see it.) Gravity is the big force in the cosmos. Gravity is like magnetism. And because everything in space is in motion, gravity pulls it away from moving in a straight line. And scientists today are thinking of this when they describe space as curved. (I prefer to think of space as nothingness, in other words without properties. Scientists are describing it as having dimensions, something we invent as we do numbers and math.)

About motion, stuff travels at various speeds. Our planet moves at one speed. Light travels faster and stuff travels faster as it approaches that huge vacuum-like magnet of nothingness called a Black Hole. Nothingness is perhaps the wrong word if you consider that the vacuum-like magnet is the force we call gravity. It's as if black holes are part of a balance in the universe between the negative and the positive.

As a galaxy is sucked into a Black Hole it is shredded and disappears. As objects approach a Black Hole they speed up.

The Nova program aside, as I understand it the variation in speed plays with our perceptions — something apart from what is happening outside the mind. (The Theory of Relativity is also about perception — the perceptions of different peoples from different vantage points.)

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