You may have heard the term “black hole” before and know it has something to do with space, but that’s probably where your knowledge of these mysterious cosmic objects ends. Unless you’re a scientist or physicist, you probably don’t spend much time pondering the properties of black holes or the implications of anything having to do with them. But what are black holes and what would happen if you fell into one? Let’s find out.
What Would Happen If You Fell Into A Black Hole?
The answer to this question depends on two things: the size of the black hole and the size of you. If the black hole is large enough, nothing can escape from it, not even light. A black hole is like a bottomless pit. Even if you throw something into it, it will never reappear. If you fall into a black hole, you will be torn apart as you approach the speed of light and crushed by the enormous gravitational force as you reach the center of the black hole.
How Do You Fall Into A Black Hole?
Traveling at the speed of light
When you fall towards a black hole, your speed is faster and faster. The closer you get, the faster you go. If you could travel at the speed of light, you could just fall into the black hole at the normal, unaccelerated rate. However, you can’t, as nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. However, if you could travel at the speed of light, you’d only get compressed and stretched in the final moments before you fell into the black hole, not obliterated.
This one is a bit of a cheat, but it is a way to fall into a black hole, albeit a bit of a weird one. Atoms in your body are made up of neutrons and protons. If these neutrons and protons were as light as they could be, you’d be able to fall into the black hole without being torn apart by your own gravity. This is a very, very light way to fall in. You’d be the lightest thing ever in the universe. It’s impossible to be that light. You’d also be unable to do anything once you’re in the black hole, as you wouldn’t be able to move. But, you’d survive the fall.
Being a part of a fast-spinning object
Black holes often have a ‘bat’ spinning around them. This is a disk of gas and other stuff that is being ‘sucked in’ to the black hole. You could fall into a black hole if you were part of this disk of stuff. You’d be slowly dragged in, but would remain in control. You could use a spaceship to control the spin of the disk, and so slow your fall. You’d eventually fall in, but at a much slower rate than someone falling in at the normal rate.
Using a wormhole as a shortcut
wormholes are theoretical tunnels through space-time. If you found a wormhole, you could use it as a shortcut to falling into a black hole. The wormhole would transport you to the black hole. You’d enter at a high speed, and so not be aware of the trip. If the black hole is spinning, you could use the wormhole to spin up the black hole. You’d then slowly be pulled in.
Just drop in, with no control whatsoever
The final way to fall into a black hole is to just fall in. You aren’t spinning around, aren’t part of a spinning disk, or using a wormhole. You are just falling toward a black hole, and you have no control over it at all. You’ll be ripped apart by your own gravity as you fall in.
What Will Happen To Your Body?
- If you fell into a black hole, your body would be crushed beyond recognition in an instant and transformed into something called “spaghetti-like” strands of pure energy.
- No one knows exactly how that happens, but we do know it involves the second law of thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics dictates that everything in the universe is slowly running down and losing energy.
- It also states that you can’t ever create or destroy energy, but only transform it from one form to another. For example, if you walk up a flight of stairs, you’re converting the energy in your body into the energy of motion, which allows you to climb.
- When you fall into a black hole, you’re being crushed by the intense gravitational force and transformed into a stream of what’s known as “Hawking radiation.”
- This is a form of energy that’s emitted by matter being crushed under the extreme pressure of a black hole.
Where Will You End Up After Falling Into A Black Hole?
- Unfortunately for anyone hoping to find out what happens when you fall into a black hole, no one has yet discovered a way to solve the puzzle of what’s at the bottom of one. Scientists have observed black holes and the surrounding areas with telescopes and other measuring devices, but they’ve been unable to get close enough to see what happens at the very bottom.
- Some scientists believe that black holes have an “event horizon” at their core — a boundary that separates the inside from the outside. They believe that if you fell beyond the event horizon, you’d be crushed and transformed into energy that would continue to swirl around the black hole for eternity.
- Others believe that black holes have no event horizon and that anything that fell into one would pass through the core and out the other side. Unfortunately, no one knows which theory is correct.
- If you ever find yourself tumbling toward a black hole, you don’t have much time to escape its gravitational pull. Depending on the size and strength of the black hole, you’ll have anywhere from seconds to minutes to find a way out of its pull before you’re crushed to death.
- If you’re lucky enough to have a spaceship or other vehicle at your disposal, you could escape easily. However, if you don’t, you’ll need to pull off an extreme maneuver — one that few, if any, have ever attempted.
- You’ll need to pull off a slingshot move that takes you around the black hole and back out again. The problem is that when you approach a black hole, time slows down. This means that the further away from the black hole you are, the more time you’ll have to pull off your move.
- Unfortunately, the closer to a black hole you are, the less time you’ll have to execute your escape plan. This means that if you’re very close to a black hole, you’ll need to be an expert pilot and be extremely lucky to escape alive.
Black holes are incredibly strange, mysterious, and fascinating places. They’re places where the laws of physics that we’ve come to rely on get broken and even light is incapable of escaping their “gravitational pull”. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you fell into a black hole, now you know. And it’s not pretty.