Cosmological environment study of a black hole : A closer look on the science of Interstellar

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Teoretisk fysik

Author: Anton Gustafsson; [2015]

Keywords: Black hole; Interstellar;


This report looks closer on the physics of black holes and their related phenomena. Particularly, this report studies a certain black hole called Gargantua that is portrayed in the movie Interstellar. By using this as a source of inspiration we look at Gargantua’s effect on time, planetary orbits and tidalforces. The following report showed that the physics studied here corresponded fully to the physics represented in Interstellar, making the movie very credible from a physics point of view. I show that the black hole portrayed in Interstellar needed to spin at a rate of 1.33'10^-14 percent less than its maximum possible to achieve a timedilation of 61320 at the distance where stable planetary orbits are found. At a spin this high, planets can have stable orbits as close as half the Schwarzschild radius which means they are located just outside the event horizon of a maximally rotating black hole. The enormous timedilation at planets orbiting near the event horizon is a result of the planets close proximity to the black hole, its orbital velocity and frame dragging. Frame dragging describes the effects on spacetime on account of the rotation of the black hole. Looking at the tidal forces on objects surrounding the black hole it was found that an increasing mass would actually decrease the tidal forces on objects outside the event horizon. For a sufficiently large mass on the black hole, a planet could avoid being ripped apart but this restricted its size to a radial extension of about 5500 km which corresponds to 0.86 earth radiuses.

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