• Question: Ok, another one about black holes :). I’ve got a theory and I’d like you to disprove it (if you can), so that I can improve it. It’s that density causes gravity, so the denser something is, the more gravity it has. Black holes come into this as, rather than growing in size, I believe that they just become denser (because of its own gravity). I think it can do this forever because I believe atoms (and maybe photons) can be broken down into infinite parts (past even quarks). This is because a black holes gravity is so strong, that it breaks apart atoms and condenses them, making something which has more gravity. So black holes condense atoms, rather than just pile them on, which gives it more density and more gravity, which breaks the atoms parts up even more etc, and pulls even more in, giving it the illusion that it’s growing. What do you think? Again, tell me where I’ve gone wrong so that I can improve, I’d be really grateful if you did.

    Asked by cjlynd2019 on 24 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Marianne King

      Marianne King answered on 24 Jun 2019:


      Hi! I love that you’ve come up with a theory – coming up with theories to test and questions to answer is one of the main things a scientist does! I’m not expert on space but I like to read about it so here goes! I think that it is mass that causes gravitational force – the more massive it is the larger the gravitational force it can exert on another object. Black holes are, as you say, very dense and also very massive. I think that atoms that pass the event horizon are torn apart and are added to the black hole. It is my understanding that the radius of the black hole does then increase. Here’s an article that might explain this better!

      https://theconversation.com/explainer-black-holes-7431

      As to whether they are split beyond the quark I have no idea! Here’s an article I found about splitting quarks – I think these even smaller particles are only theoretical at the moment.

      https://www.nature.com/news/2007/071130/full/news.2007.292.html

      Something I find interesting and baffling about black holes (I don’t even pretend to understand this!) is the information paradox.

      https://phys.org/news/2015-10-black-hole-paradox.html

      YouTube has some really good videos on black holes too.

      There might be more specific physics forums online where you could get a much better answer than this! You could even try emailing your question to an academic at a university who specialises in this research – there’s no harm in trying. 🙂

    • Photo: Thiloka Ratnaike

      Thiloka Ratnaike answered on 24 Jun 2019:


      Incredible that you have this type of enthusiasm about aspects of physics I barely understand! I think Marianne’s suggestion about emailing a university department that specialises in the subject is awesome because it could be a stepping stone into meeting with people who work on the topic and getting to see how they research the type of theories you have. What do you think? Here’s an article published earlier this year, research led by Southampton University- https://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2019/01/black-hole-spinning.page, perhaps get in touch?
      My two cents would be that I think gravity/density might need a couple of other elements such as rate or particle breakdown and proximity to other matter perhaps to juice up your theory? But this is coming from someone who probably knows less about black hole research than you!

    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 24 Jun 2019:


      Wow, great question and I’m amazed that you are coming up with theories about this type of complex stuff. Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to prove or disprove your theory as you clearly know far more about this topic than I do!!

    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 24 Jun 2019:


      Ditto what the others said.

      (1) AWESOME theory,

      (2) You clearly know far more than me

      (3) I suggest you pursue this theory and disprove/prove it yourself!

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 24 Jun 2019:


      I can’t see any evidence of a hole in your black hole theory – but I’m afraid I don’t know enough about it to prove/disprove it! You have clearly thought about this a lot, and you are very passionate about black holes. I would take the suggestions of the others – keep reading and researching the literature and try to get some work experience in a lab where people work on this kind of problem; it’s the best place to test your ideas! There is an excellent space research centre at Surrey University that might be worth contacting:

      https://www.surrey.ac.uk/surrey-space-centre

      Very best of luck!

    • Photo: Shobhana Nagraj

      Shobhana Nagraj answered on 25 Jun 2019:


      Wow! Congratulations on having a theory and developing it! It sounds awesome – I would not know how to go about proving or disproving this but the Royal Astronomical Society in London have some great talks and people you could contact to get advice on this!

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 26 Jun 2019: last edited 26 Jun 2019 8:58 am


      Okay, so I have taken a bit of time to consider this theory… I do like the theory of atoms being broken down past the Quark stage, and this is certainly something which is quite possible, as we may not be able to see those particles..

      I think a slightly different phrasing would be better rather rather than the black hole becoming denser (denser implies more in size due to density requiring mass?)

      Instead, your idea could go as so: (if I have it right is essentially that) the atoms get broken down by the black hole, initially forming part of the black holes density whilst being broken down even further until they form just energy. this energy then becomes a part of the black hole. If the black hole does not then obtain as much matter over time, the density of the black hole will begin to diminish, resulting in a diminished amount of energy produced, until there is no longer enough density and energy to support the black hole, at which point it would then become unstable due to the changes in forces and result in the ‘death’ of the black hole…

      How is that? I think it kind of works with your current theory and perhaps is where you were going with it?

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