Re: Black hole question

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Tue Feb 15 2000 - 12:17:12 MST

James Swayze wrote:

> I had a thought once. What if two black holes began ever so slowly to collide.
> What effect might one observe as the two event horizons just touch? Assume the
> mass of both for sake of argument is exactly equal. Would particles be pulled in
> two? This would be difficult for plank sized items, no? Or would they have to
> fall to one side or the other of the resultant hump left in space between the
> two dents made in space time? What would determine to which side a particle
> falls? Perhaps this is a foolish thought after all I'm not an expert just an
> inquiring mind. Still though, any thoughts?

Colliding black holes are one theorized cause for Gamma Ray Bursters (along with
colliding neutron stars as well.) As described by Hawking in his seminal black hole
paper, black holes are constantly emitting energy at the boundary of their event
horizons due to zero point fluctuations. When a particle-antiparticle pair are
created at the boundary, one may go in, while the other goes out. This imbalance
causes black holes to glow in the infrared and also causes their eventual
evaporation. Colliding black holes are proabably very dangerous places to be.

Mike Lorrey

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