MadSci Network: Astronomy

Re: Climbing out of a black hole

Date: Mon Aug 14 06:40:32 2000
Posted By: Meghan Gray, Grad student, Astronomy, Cambridge University
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 965297400.As

Dear Kevin,

That's a very good question!  Unfortunately, once you cross the event
horizon into a black hole, there's no turning back.  According to the
equations of General Relativity, the singularity at the centre of the
black hole lies in your future light cone, so there's no way to avoid it.
Furthermore, the more energy you expend trying to escape, the more you
'feed' the black hole, and the harder it pulls!  You would have to expend
an infinite amount of energy to climb up your rope, and you would also
need an infinitely strong rope, as the tidal forces would pull it (and
you!) apart.  This 'noodlizing' effect, whereby your feet experience a
stronger gravitational force than your head, stretching you into something
resembling spaghetti, is discussed further here
by Dr. Craig Wheeler.


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