Detecting Black holes




If light cannot escape from a black hole and if black holes are as small as Example 13.11 suggests, how can we know that such things exist? The answer is that any gas or dust near the black hole tends to be pulled into an accretion disk that swirls around and into the black hole, rather like a whirlpool (Fig. 13.28, next page). Friction within the accretion disk’s gas causes it to lose mechanical energy and spiral into the black hole; as it moves inward, it is compressed together. This causes heating of the gas, just as air compressed in a bicycle pump gets hotter. Temperatures in excess of 106 K can occur in the accretion disk, so hot that the disk emits not just visible light (as do bodies that are “red-hot” or “white-hot”) but x rays. Astronomers look for these x rays (emitted by the gas material before it crosses the event horizon) to signal the presence of a black hole. Several promising candidates have been found, and astronomers now express considerable confidence in the existence of black holes.

Detecting Black holes

 

 

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Black holes in binary star systems like the one depicted in Fig. 13.28 have masses a few times greater than the sun’s mass. There is also mounting evidence for the existence of much larger supermassive black holes. One example lies at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, some 26,000 light-years from earth in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. High-resolution images of the galactic center reveal stars moving at speeds greater than 1500 km>s about an unseen object that lies at the position of a source of radio waves called Sgr A* (Fig. 13.29).

Detecting Black holes

 

 

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By analyzing these motions, astronomers can infer the period T and semi-major axis a of each star’s orbit. The mass mX of the unseen object can be calculated from Kepler’s third law in the form given in Eq. (13.17), with the mass of the sun mS replaced by mX:

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Detecting Black holes

 

 

The conclusion is that the mysterious dark object at the galactic center has a mass of 8.2 * 1036 kg, or 4.1 million times the mass of the sun. Yet observations with radio telescopes show that it has a radius no more than 4.4 * 1010 m, about one-third of the distance from the earth to the sun. These observations suggest that this massive, compact object is a black hole with a Schwarzschild radius of 1.1 * 1010 m. Astronomers hope to improve the resolution of their observations so that they can actually see the event horizon of this black hole.

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Other lines of research suggest that even larger black holes, in excess of 109 times the mass of the sun, lie at the centers of other galaxies. Observational and theoretical studies of black holes of all sizes continue to be an exciting area of research in both physics and astronomy.



Frequently Asked Questions

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Ans: At points far from a black hole, its gravitational effects are the same as those of any normal body with the same mass. If the sun collapsed to form a black hole, the orbits of the planets would be unaffected. But things get dramatically different close to the black hole. view more..
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Ans: The first expression for escape speed in Eq. (13.29) suggests that a body of mass M will act as a black hole if its radius R is less than or equal to a certain critical radius. view more..
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Ans: Think first about the properties of our own sun. Its mass M = 1.99 * 1030 kg and radius R = 6.96 * 108 m are much larger than those of any planet, but compared to other stars, our sun is not exceptionally massive view more..
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Ans: If light cannot escape from a black hole and if black holes are small . how can we know that such things exist? The answer is that any gas or dust near the black hole tends to be pulled into an accretion disk that swirls around and into the black hole, rather like a whirlpool view more..
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Ans: HERE ISA SUMMARY OF GRAVITATION , FOR QUICK REVISION view more..
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Ans: Many kinds of motion repeat themselves over and over: the vibration of a quartz crystal in a watch, the swinging pendulum of a grandfather clock, the sound vibrations produced by a clarinet or an organ pipe, and the back-and-forth motion of the pistons in a car engine. This kind of motion, called periodic motion or oscillation view more..
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Ans: n. A body with mass m rests on a frictionless horizontal guide system, such as a linear air track, so it can move along the x-axis only. The body is attached to a spring of negligible mass that can be either stretched or compressed. The left end of the spring is held fixed, and the right end is attached to the body. The spring force is the only horizontal force acting on the body; the vertical normal and gravitational forces always add to zero view more..
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Ans: Here are some terms that we’ll use in discussing periodic motions of all kinds: view more..
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Ans: The simplest kind of oscillation occurs when the restoring force Fx is directly proportional to the displacement from equilibrium x. This happens if the spring in Figs. 14.1 and 14.2 is an ideal one that obeys Hooke’s law view more..
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Ans: To explore the properties of simple harmonic motion, we must express the displacement x of the oscillating body as a function of time, x1t2. view more..
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Ans: the period and frequency of simple harmonic motion are completely determined by the mass m and the force constant k. In simple harmonic motion the period and frequency do not depend on the amplitude A. view more..
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Ans: We still need to find the displacement x as a function of time for a harmonic oscillator. Equation (14.4) for a body in SHM along the x-axis is identical to Eq. (14.8) for the x-coordinate of the reference point in uniform circular motion with constant angular speed v = 2k/m view more..
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Ans: We can learn even more about simple harmonic motion by using energy considerations. The only horizontal force on the body in SHM in Figs. 14.2 and 14.13 is the conservative force exerted by an ideal spring. The vertical forces do no work, so the total mechanical energy of the system is conserved. We also assume that the mass of the spring itself is negligible. view more..
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Ans: the energy quantities E, K, and U at x = 0, x = ±A/2, and x = ±A. Figure 14.15 is a graphical display of Eq. (14.21); energy (kinetic, potential, and total) is plotted vertically and the coordinate x is plotted horizontally. The parabolic curve in Fig. 14.15a represents the potential energy U = 1/2 kx2 . The horizontal line represents the total mechanical energy E, which is constant and does not vary with x. view more..
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Ans: PROBLEM SOLVING STRATEGY ON ENERGY MOMENTUM OF SHM view more..
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Ans: So far, we’ve looked at a grand total of one situation in which simple harmonic motion (SHM) occurs: a body attached to an ideal horizontal spring. But SHM can occur in any system in which there is a restoring force that is directly proportional to the displacement from equilibrium, as given by Eq. (14.3), Fx = -kx view more..
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Ans: A mechanical watch keeps time based on the oscillations of a balance wheel (Fig. 14.19). The wheel has a moment of inertia I about its axis. A coil spring exerts a restoring torque tz that is proportional to the angular displacement u from the equilibrium position. We write tz = -ku, where k (the Greek letter kappa) is a constant called the torsion constant. Using the rotational analog of Newton’s second law for a rigid body, gtz = Iaz = I d2 u>dt2 view more..
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Ans: The following discussion of the vibrations of molecules uses the binomial theorem. If you aren’t familiar with this theorem, you should read about it in the appropriate section of a math textbook. view more..




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