Thank you for that excellent answer Bruce! I’d go a little farther and say that we absolutely know that the mass is there, but you’re right to question the form this mass may take. I like your line of reasoning as to what “holds up” the various known states of matter. Why couldn’t there be another level hiding behind the event horizon?Bruce Mardle wrote:Hi, other Bruce.BDanielMayfield wrote:But, what do YOU, think Bruce? Convincing evidence (a large number of stars very rapidly orbiting something that’s so dim we can’t see it) leads this Bruce to believe in the existence of the Milky Way’s central Super-Massive Black Hole...
I think it's likely that there's something compact and massive there, but black holes (in my naive opinion) have always seems like a 'default' explanation. The argument seems to go something like: we know what 'holds up' regular matter but sometimes the pressure is too high and it collapses into white dwarf matter; we know what holds that up but sometimes the pressure is too high and it collapses into neutron star matter; we know what holds that up but sometimes the pressure is too high and... we don't know of anything that could hold that up, so we'll assume that nothing can.
A singularity has lots of problems, though.
I once attended a lecture by the head of a university's astronomy department. He said that astronomy was a very exciting field because massive changes in beliefs were relatively frequent. I kept quiet my opinion that that might be because astronomers (and cosmologists in particular) seems relatively happy to jump to conclusions!
It’s often said that in black holes the laws of physics breakdown. But, that’s not really true though. It would be more accurate to say that in BH’s the KNOWN laws of physics breakdown. But BH’s obey the laws of physics just like everything else in the Universe; it’s just that in this case we haven’t learned all the rules yet.
Bruce D. Mayfield