Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by rwh, Oct 22, 1999.

  1. rwh Registered Member

    I have a question, If all matter has a critical mass, What hapens when a blackhole reaches it critical mass?
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  3. Rock Registered Member

    Umm, I'm not certain in just what sense you mean "critical mass". I've only heard it in reference to fissionable material. So far as I'm aware, there's no other type.

    That being said: when a mass which is fissionable is below its critical mass it is merely radioactive, whereas once it reaches or surapsses the critical mass (if there is less than say 20% impurity level, at least for U235) the radioactivity creates an avalanching effect (nonlinearity) where most radiated particles set off a new fission in another nucleus, which releases several more loose cannons into the system.

    Within a black hole matter is said to be torn up into pure energy before reaching the singularity. I imagine that if en route some fissionable material reached a high enough density, then it would probably go boom, but this would have no effect on the hole itself, nor would it affect the mass's infalling in the slightest. Keep in mind that this is off the top of my head, it's not something which I've researched before so I could well be missing something.

    The singularity itself is considered by most to be of infinite density, so there's not really much of a point in considering the difference in whether it was made of tv's or pure Pu238; of course, according to Alan Guth, there might be an important difference: in his scenario the black hole leads not to an unimaginaly dense situation, but instead to a newly formed universe with dimensions orthogonal to our own. It might mean quite a bit or nothing whatsoever to the rather chaotic situation there that it's seed matter was element x vs. element y.

    Este est percepi - to be is to be perceived.

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