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This Week in Science

By Garrett Hayden
On October 8, 2014

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you fell into a black hole? Well even if you haven’t, I’m here to tell you what top physicists in the world believe would happen if you did just that.

Well first we need to know that there are different types of black holes. The first is the stellar mass black hole, which is what most of us are familiar with. They are created from a star with sufficient mass collapsing in on itself and forming what is known as a singularity.

The second is called a “supermassive black hole” and is theorized to be in the center of all galaxies. These supermassive black holes have a lower density than their stellar alternatives and as a result the effects are not felt as intensely until deeper into the black hole.

Now if you were to jump into the event horizon, effectively the point of no return where light can’t even escape due to the intense gravity of a stellar black hole, you would begin to be stretched infinitely until you were only a single line of atoms being pulled into the singularity at the center. The technical term for this is called spaghettification. No it really is, look it up.

At this point you would notice something very strange happening, specifically that the parts of you that are closer to the center will be experiencing time differently than those parts that are further away.

If you were to watch someone who was outside of the event horizon, it would appear as if they are aging very quickly. To them it would be that you are moving slower until you move imperceptibly slowly toward the center of the black hole. This is a phenomenon known as “Time Dilation” which I will be covering in a later installment.

Now of course I’ve had to take some liberties here, as far as what your experience would be, because there is no surviving a trip past the event horizon of a black hole. So please, just try to jump into a black hole.

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