10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Space, the environment, new discoveries and new uses for old ones
seeinred
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10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by seeinred » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:33 pm

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/ ... %257c%257c
Click on the link, it's about 2 1/2 min and worth a look.

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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by Notorious » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:39 pm

If his interests you seeinred, I would recommend a book called Death by Black Holes and othe Cosmic Quandries by Neil Degrasse Tyson.

I could listen to that dude talk for hours.
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seeinred
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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by seeinred » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:50 pm

Thanks Noto, I just ordered the book from Amazon for 11 bucks. :D It will be interesting to read his painting of a picture of how it would be for us to be swallowed up by a black hole...

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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by SLK230 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:53 pm

Notorious wrote:If his interests you seeinred, I would recommend a book called Death by Black Holes and othe Cosmic Quandries by Neil Degrasse Tyson.

I could listen to that dude talk for hours.
I agree. I also like him.
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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by Luca » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:05 pm

It's a fascinating topic. Astrophysics and cosmology both are.

Every time you read about these bizarre facts linked to a "we don't know why this is, but....." it makes you realize that the more you discover the more you find that there are questions you never even thought to ask before. Every new discovery generates 10 new questions. It's the infinite "unknown unknowns" that Donald Rumsfeld spoke about years ago.

It makes me believe that we are never going to have all the answers, either because they are not measurable or simply way too complex (or humans are too unintelligent to understand, however you choose to look at it). The volume of things we don't know dwarfs the handful of things that we do know about the universe...........Luca

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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by SLK230 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:11 pm

Luca wrote:It's a fascinating topic. Astrophysics and cosmology both are.

Every time you read about these bizarre facts linked to a "we don't know why this is, but....." it makes you realize that the more you discover the more you find that there are questions you never even thought to ask before. Every new discovery generates 10 new questions. It's the infinite "unknown unknowns" that Donald Rumsfeld spoke about years ago.

It makes me believe that we are never going to have all the answers, either because they are not measurable or simply way too complex (or humans are too unintelligent to understand, however you choose to look at it). The volume of things we don't know dwarfs the handful of things that we do know about the universe...........Luca
I believe that man has no limitations in his quest for knowledge.

Just look at the huge advances in medicine just in the past 100 years. What about the next 100 or even 1000?
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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by seeinred » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:16 pm

Luca wrote: The volume of things we don't know dwarfs the handful of things that we do know about the universe...........Luca
SLK230 wrote: I believe that man has no limitations in his quest for knowledge.

:yeahthat: Both of you are right on here!

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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by Luca » Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:53 pm

SLK230 wrote:
I believe that man has no limitations in his quest for knowledge.

Just look at the huge advances in medicine just in the past 100 years. What about the next 100 or even 1000?
I don't think there's any limits to our quest, either. I think there is a limit to what we are capable of discovering, given the tools at our disposal.

There is always going to be more knowledge about any given topic 100 years hence. That's not the same thing as saying that therefore we will inevitably arrive at ultimate knowledge. What is true for cosmology is also true for medicine. Every new discovery seems to lead to additional questions there were never even considered previously. Medical advances are impressive only if you compare them to the Middle Ages. We all still die, can't even figure out how to prevent colds, we don't know why we'll all get dementia eventually, etc. The list is endless.

And astrophysics/cosmology is far more complex. I don't see any reason to assume that the few billion synapses inside these small craniums are capable of solving it all. ........Luca

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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by SLK230 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:29 pm

seeinred wrote:Luca wrote: The volume of things we don't know dwarfs the handful of things that we do know about the universe...........Luca
SLK230 wrote: I believe that man has no limitations in his quest for knowledge.

:yeahthat: Both of you are right on here!
and in his ability to comprehend.
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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by SLK230 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:48 pm

Luca wrote:
I don't think there's any limits to our quest, either. I think there is a limit to what we are capable of discovering, given the tools at our disposal.
The tools keep improving as time goes by. 100 years ago an MRI or organ transplants weren't even imaginable. Today both are routine. Are we not on the verge of growing organs?
Luca wrote: Medical advances are impressive only if you compare them to the Middle Ages. We all still die, can't even figure out how to prevent colds, we don't know why we'll all get dementia eventually, etc. The list is endless.
I really think you are understating the case. Sure we all still die but we live much longer then we did in the middle ages. We have doubled if not tripled our life span.
Luca wrote:And astrophysics/cosmology is far more complex. I don't see any reason to assume that the few billion synapses inside these small craniums are capable of solving it all. ........Luca
Again you ignore the huge advances made just in the past 100 years.
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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by Vilepagan » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:27 am

SLK230 wrote:Sure we all still die but we live much longer then we did in the middle ages. We have doubled if not tripled our life span.
Not exactly. What we've done is double or triple the average life span, mostly through the reduction of infant mortality. In the Middle Ages the average life span was somewhere in the 30's because most children didn't live to see their 5th birthday. If you made it to the age of 21 you could expect to live another 50 years.
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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by Vilepagan » Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:49 am

Luca wrote:
I don't think there's any limits to our quest, either. I think there is a limit to what we are capable of discovering, given the tools at our disposal.
SLK230 wrote:The tools keep improving as time goes by. 100 years ago an MRI or organ transplants weren't even imaginable. Today both are routine. Are we not on the verge of growing organs?
I hope you're right SLK, but I fear Luca may be. While we have certainly learned a great deal about the universe, and we're learning more every day, it's hard to imagine that we're capable of comprehending or even perceiving all the mysteries that are still out there.

According to the latest theories about "dark matter", we're only able to detect something like 13% of the "matter" that makes up the universe. If the theories about the existence of dark matter are correct, we can't examine 87% of the universe in any way, we can't even be sure it exists at all, except in theory. If that theory is wrong, we may be searching for something that doesn't exist. If the theory is right, we may be searching for something that's impossible for us to find.
There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed. - The Dhammapada

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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by SLK230 » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:40 am

Vilepagan wrote:


I hope you're right SLK, but I fear Luca may be. While we have certainly learned a great deal about the universe, and we're learning more every day, it's hard to imagine that we're capable of comprehending or even perceiving all the mysteries that are still out there.

According to the latest theories about "dark matter", we're only able to detect something like 13% of the "matter" that makes up the universe. If the theories about the existence of dark matter are correct, we can't examine 87% of the universe in any way, we can't even be sure it exists at all, except in theory. If that theory is wrong, we may be searching for something that doesn't exist. If the theory is right, we may be searching for something that's impossible for us to find.


Considering that until a hundred years ago or so we couldn't see the atom and Quantum mechanics didn't exist. In addition we didn't have a man in space until the 1960's

We took huge steps in the 20th century and see no reason that it will not continue to do so over the next 100, 1000 or 10,000 years.

As long as man exists he will explore and that exploration will always yield results.
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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by Luca » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:55 pm

Your reasoning seems to go as follows: we have learned a great deal in just the last hundred years, therefore there is no limit to what we can discover. Using your reasoning I could point out with as much conviction that humans have gotten progressively larger over the last century - the average Civil War soldier was about 5'7" or so. Therefore because we have grown so impressively in the past 100 years we will inevitably grow continuously and there is no limit to how large our descendents will be.

You are impressed, with some reason, by medical advances over the last century. I've practiced medicine for nearly a quarter-century and I'm far more impressed by how little we can do to extend and save the most lives. We diddle around on the edges having a harder than hell time diagnosing - let alone treating - most fatal illnesses. What extensions there have been in life expectancy were achieved long ago with simple measures such as improved hygiene and diet and avoidance of certain behaviors. The science is impressive, the progress not so much.

And biology/medicine is child's play compared to physics and cosmology. It seems to me so presumptuous to talk about Stephen Hawking's "theory of everything" when we really know so little - almost nothing - about the origin of the universe and of life and how things ultimately work. We know nothing about dark matter other than it seems to comprise about 87% of all the material in the universe, we don't even know how gravity works (let alone its counterpart, dark energy), we don't know why material has mass, we don't know what if anything happened before the Big Bang and there is no conceivable way of even investigating it.

We speculate about theories we can't begin to understand, let alone demonstrate. Cosmologists talk about multiple dimensions and no one can even begin to describe they might look or be like, far less demonstrate their existence. Newton revolutionized science by making observations and then developing a branch of mathematics to predict those observations. We have now gotten to the point where we use mathematics to support theories we can't observe or demonstrate. Why do we assume that a mathematical formula proves reality?

As long as mankind progresses, so will science and our understanding of the universe. But we are never going to get to any ultimate answers because science can't do it, mathematics alone proves nothing, and I don't think humanity has the IQ to comprehend such complexity.

I cannot prove you are incorrect. We are so ignorant right now and our tools - the human mind, mathematics, the scientific method (which assumes and can only understand a mechanistic universe) - have inherent limits. I see no reason to share your optimism.........Luca

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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by Vilepagan » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:50 am

Nice post, Luca. I think that mathematics is one of the best tools we have for understanding the universe, and while I can't say for sure that it will answer every question we have it's hard for me to imagine what other system of thought might be better.

In the end though, will we ever know everything? I don't even know if it's possible to know that you've reached that point. First it assumes that "knowledge" is a finite quantity, and then it assumes that we will at some point acquire that knowledge. Given that both of those ideas are purely speculative I think at this point all we can say for sure is that it seems unlikely.
There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed. - The Dhammapada

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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by SLK230 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:40 am

As long as mankind progresses, so will science and our understanding of the universe. But we are never going to get to any ultimate answers because science can't do it, mathematics alone proves nothing, and I don't think humanity has the IQ to comprehend such complexity.

I cannot prove you are incorrect. We are so ignorant right now and our tools - the human mind, mathematics, the scientific method (which assumes and can only understand a mechanistic universe) - have inherent limits. I see no reason to share your optimism.........Luca
I see no reason for your extreme pessimism. You see to take the attitude that if it isn't perfect now it will never be. How do you know where we will be 1000 years from now?

We are miles ahead of where we were let’s say when Columbus discovered America.

For some reason you seem to poo poo that.

You sum up all scientific advances from then to now as no big deal.

The science of today wasn't even imaginable in Columbus’s day. Computers, television, radio, huge medical advances. How about the discovery of germs as the cause of disease. You for some reason want to dismiss them. What about the entire science of genetics and DNA? No big deal there either?

I think your fear is that we might one day actually create life in the lab and in doing so it will negate gods standing in your mind.
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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by MDDad » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:32 am

Vilepagan wrote:Nice post, Luca. I think that mathematics is one of the best tools we have for understanding the universe, and while I can't say for sure that it will answer every question we have it's hard for me to imagine what other system of thought might be better.
I'm not sure "understanding" is the right word here. I think perhaps mathematics is the best tool we have for explaining or describing the universe, because it's the only descriptive language we have for that kind of mind-boggling challenge. However, whether it's correct or not is something we may never know.

In a sense, we developed mathematics to fit the universe, and then announced that the universe fits our mathematics. It's a little like a blind man putting a sweater on a dog and then concluding that dogs are the same shape as sweaters. Without evidence to the contrary, or someone to tell him otherwise, he is comfortable in his conclusion.

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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by SLK230 » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:31 am

MDDad wrote: I'm not sure "understanding" is the right word here. I think perhaps mathematics is the best tool we have for explaining or describing the universe, because it's the only descriptive language we have for that kind of mind-boggling challenge. However, whether it's correct or not is something we may never know.

In a sense, we developed mathematics to fit the universe, and then announced that the universe fits our mathematics. It's a little like a blind man putting a sweater on a dog and then concluding that dogs are the same shape as sweaters. Without evidence to the contrary, or someone to tell him otherwise, he is comfortable in his conclusion.
Doesn't sending a man to the moon or computers prove that our concept of math works?

We have never had a crash because the math didn't work.

Math observes what actually happens. i.e. When you measure how long it take for an object to fall a certain distance the number simply describes what happened and how long it took to happen.
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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by Luca » Sat Feb 23, 2013 5:32 pm

SLK230 wrote:I think your fear is that we might one day actually create life in the lab and in doing so it will negate gods standing in your mind.
Why would you say that?.............Luca

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Re: 10 Mind-Bending Facts about Black Holes (video link)

Post by Luca » Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:03 pm

SLK230 wrote: Doesn't sending a man to the moon or computers prove that our concept of math works?

We have never had a crash because the math didn't work.

Math observes what actually happens. i.e. When you measure how long it take for an object to fall a certain distance the number simply describes what happened and how long it took to happen.
I think you are missing MDDad's point.

First, there have been plenty of crashes because the math didn't work. The math couldn't predict Bernoulli's effect for the Wright brothers. It couldn't predict any number of problems for Chuck Yeager, because math alone is not adequate.

Second, math doesn't "observe" anything. There are certain natural phenomena that can be predicted by mathematical equations (such as large-scale gravitational effects) and some that cannot (such as the decay of radioactive particles). The math doesn't describe or explain anything. Gravity is not "explained" by calculus. We still don't know how gravity works.

The most obvious examples, though, and the sort of things which I think MDDad was referring to would be ultimate explanations, not simple mathematical predictions of what we can already observe and verify. If in fact time "began" with the Big Bang and there was "nothing" before it, how can mathematics - or any branch of science, based as it is on cause and effect - predict how or why it happened? How can a mathematical formula explain "everything" abruptly springing into existence from "nothing"?

If we have to postulate multiple additional dimensions to explain what we cannot observe about our universe, how can mathematics or our observations explain or prove that which is not part of our own small corner of the universe? And if someone develops a formula about multiple dimensions that is mathematically correct, why should we assume that the mathematical formula actually corresponds to what is real if we cannot verify it?

I agree it's great that we now have color TV now and trucks that get 25 mpg. But it's like Dr. Fronkenstein said about his grandfather's discoveries:


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