Date: August 23, 1999 at 15:47:48
In Reply to: Potential Hazard? posted by Patrick Farmer on August 22, 1999 at 20:45:11:
: I was wondering if Black Holes pose a potential hazard to us. In either case, what is the value in studying them?
Black holes so far shouldn't be any considerable threat to mankind. There's a much greater chance that the Earth would be hit by an asteriod.
To answer your second question, we mainly study black holes to uncover the truth about our Universe. First off all, we need something to explain the nature of galaxies, why do some stars in the center of galaxies rotate so fast that they should be slinging themselves billions of miles away, but aren't? Something with enormous gravitational power has to be holding those stars in orbit.
Plus, conditions of the physics in the singularities of black holes mirror that of the "Big Bang," when the Universe expanded from a single point. Maybe in the end, when all of the Universe stops expanding and is pulled back to the center, it will crunch into a singularity again. Studying black holes helps us come closer to understanding both the beginning and the end of time.
In addition, showing that black holes actually exist helps support the Theory of Relativity on which most modern physics is based. Many of today's theories are based on Relativity, and proving Relativity would greatly ease the minds of many who have staked their life's work on this theory.
Hope that answers your question.
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