Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

March 14, 2021

A Simple Explanation of Black Holes

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 2:04 pm

Louis N. Proyect:

I was trying to follow a one-hour lecture on Black Holes [podcast] but gave up after fifteen minutes and switched to Jay Leno’s garage to hear what he had to say about the 1955 Packard Caribbean.

Manuel García, Jr.:

Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” is a pretty good book about it, for the general public.

Theoretically, Black Holes are a consequence of Einstein’s General Relativity (the effect of gravity on space-time): with enough concentrated mass, and insufficient thermal-nuclear energy generation (a star uses up its “fuel”) to keep that mass puffed out, its mutual gravity draws it into a spherical center, and since mass-gravity “curves” space-time (an effect that diminishes with radial distance from the center) and since space-time curvature is expressed/observed as the bending of light rays; at a particular radial distance (the Schwarzschild Radius) light rays are curved completely by 360 degrees – into circles.


  1. It’s not a Caribbean, it is, or was, a Caribbean Cruiser. As for Hawkins, a secular saint for many, he misquotes Samuel Johnson on the solipsist Berkeley. He did not kick the stone until he stubbed his toe. What would the point of the anecdote be? Why would it be memorable? He kicked the stone ‘until it resounded’–unless my graduate-student memory is all wrong. What sort of publisher would let an error like this pass?

    Comment by Olaf Olsen — March 14, 2021 @ 9:10 pm

  2. A fourth dimension, such as time, can be represented as a shadow in 3 dimensions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesseract

    Comment by Shawn Britton — March 15, 2021 @ 4:18 am

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