Black-Holes, Space-Time, and Uninhabitable Planets

A black-hole is not a place that humans want to go.  Travel into and past a black-hole’s event horizon and the danger posed by the black-hole’s gravitation increases to deadly proportions.  This same danger of uninhabitable conditions is also found if you travel too close to a star, Or if you travel to most of the planets in our solar system, land on their surfaces (if they have any), and try to live there without wearing a spacesuit.

Similar to the uninhabitable planets in our solar system, not every exoplanet is inhabitable either.  And yet the notion of space-time holds up around and on the surfaces of these planets.   Some may object that this is all theoretical, and they aren’t wrong, this is theoretical physics.

Black-holes, although having their own special qualities, may not in certain aspects be too different in some of their qualities to large planets such as Jupiter or Saturn.  The fact they have immense densities and gravity strong enough to trap light is indeed their uniquenesses.

It is important to remember that there are two separate notions of Space.  One is the empty void of the universe.  The other is the concept of Space-Time.    Also, space-time is a relative thing, in more ways than one.

So consider a scenario where two space-ships are parked outside a Black-hole.  One space-ship travels into the black-hole and the other does not.  Suppose the first space-ship that travelled into the black-hole never returned but was destroyed by the gravitational forces or the black-hole.  Space-time will have ended for that particular spaceship.  And yet space-time for the spaceship parked outside the black-hole would be unaffected.    The same would be true if you had two spaceships parked near an far-away exoplanet, or even parked in orbit around Jupiter or Saturn.


Models and Theories of the Universe are Not The Universe

In thinking about my previous blog post “Coordinate Singularities in Physics and the Actual Properties of the Universe”, in which I address the appearance of values of infinity within equations related to the density and size of  blackholes and the big bang singularity.

Sometimes some crazy and unexpected things happen in equations, but they are equations.  They are parts of larger models.  The models help us to understand the universe.   They can be said to be more or less accurate and more or less representative of what happens in our actual universe.   As was stated previously, anomalies and singularities that occur within equations are not always actual phenomenon in the universe.  The are only phenomenon that occur in equations, but not the real universe.

Some phenomenon that occur in equations do not actually occur in our real universe which the equations and models are trying to describe and act as models.   It reminds me of the old saying “The map is not the territory.”  It is a simple truth, but an important truth.  Models and theories of the universe have a similar relationship to reality.   Certain models and theories are used to understand and predict phenomenon and objects within our universe, but these models are not the universe itself, even if they are very accurate at predicting phenomenon.

The use of models, theories, and equations is necessary to the work of Science.   If a model or theory works 99% of the time and explains 99% of the universe, it is still important to consider those parts of the model or theory that fail to account for certain phenomenon within the universe or which are not accurate representations of the universe.

Models and theories of the universe are not the universe.

In the actual universe the actual density of a blackhole, a collapsed star, may be very large.  Stars have very large masses and densities.  Yet finite stars or finite matter also have finite densities, and a blackhole is only a finite collapsed star, without any additional matter added to it.  Gravity may work different, may be stronger or weaker, but the actual density of a solid can only ever be finite, or else what would it mean that something is infinitely dense?  Is that to say its density is immeasurable and that an actual value cannot be assigned to it?

A thing may be very very large, or very very small, but certain rules of the universe are constant, even if equations break down.  An equation breaking down only means the equation doesn’t have anything to say about what it is describing.  Saying the universe was infinite small, smaller than a piece of fruit, may not be accurate if we are talking about the fact that energy is neither created nor destroyed.

So all the energy & and matter existing in our universe now came from a time long ago called the Plank Era when matter didn’t even exist, only radiation.  But all that radiation surely existed in some amount of space.  It would go on to be the material from which all the first elementary particles and atoms of the early early universe were formed.  Fast forward to our universe today, and can we still say that energy, and the energy in the entire universe, has remained constant and has neither been created nor destroyed, but merely changed?

And now what about the empty space our universe now sits within and which simultaneously sits within our universe?  If you fill an empty glass with water, then the time before you filled the glass full of water is surely a time when the empty glass itself still existed.  In this case, the water is the energy and matter in the universe, and the empty glass is the empty space in which it now occupies.

While the flow of water is dynamic from the start of filling the glass to when the water is finished being poured, the shape of the glass does not change.  You’d be right to point out that our universe is actually expanding, and so this metaphor breaks down.  And yes, we need not fear about water overflowing or our imagined empty glass breaking because of the water contained within it.

Black holes are known to still have size and sizable event horizons.  Within a blackhole and within its event horizon are the remains of a once living star.  Each particle of that star could theoretically be accounted for.  While it is often said that space-time ends at a black-hole’s event horizon, the fact is that the universe around the black-hole still exists with its own space and time. Furthermore, the space and time within a black-hole, although not suitable for life, is not any different from any other astronomical object, be it star or planet, that is not hospitable to life.

Just as blackholes are not infinitely small, but have sizable event horizons and the remnants of their former stars within them, then a universe with billions of galaxies each with billions of stars, each with their own sizes, matter, and energy, surely could not have once existed in an infinitely small space.  Even if equations point to it once existing in a much smaller state that it’s current state, “much smaller” and “very small” are very different from infinitely small.  Trusting an equation or math in general is not enough, as we know equations often fail and break-down in other circumstances and the values the equations give us are not accurate to the phenomenon they were created to model.

Therefore, it is important to remember that models of the universe  are not the universe.

Coordinate Singularities in Physics and the Actual Properties of the Universe

Black holes are common phenomenon within our universe.   Their centers are referred to as singularities, where mathematics and models are said to breakdown.  This is because quantities of infinite are returned within the mathematical equations.   But does this necessarily mean that in reality blackholes exhibit the qualities put forward by the math?  The answer most likely is no, for several reasons. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity states that the mass and energy of any particle are equivalent:  E=mc2.   Blackholes are born from dying stars, stars which are finite in mass.  Given the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics where energy is neither created nor destroyed, it would be unusual for a finite star with a finite density and mass to later become a blackhole with an infinite density and mass.

So where do the infinities come from? We have to remember that mathematical and physical models of the universe are just that: models.  They are not the universe or actual reality.   In 1936 Einstein wrote the essay Physics and Reality, in which he grapples with the question of how to consider and contextualize the “real external world.”   He would often debate with fellow Physicist Einstein also wrote in his writings on Relativity that a coordinate-system is always used in measuring anything in the universe, and that the coordinate system is how we measure phenomenon.  Coordinate systems are really just the tools scientist use to measure space and time.

So as a physicist, Einstein talked at length about how all motion that is measured is measured in relation to a coordinate system.  Sometimes in mathematics singularities occur with certain values in functions.    Sometimes coordinate singularities occur where a singularity is said to occur in one coordinate frame but isn’t seen when viewed from a different coordinate frame. The singularities that occur in Physics in the relation to space, time, and density at the centers of Black Holes and at the beginning of our Universe before the occurrence of the Big Bang are not being disputed.   What is being said is that these singularities are only coordinate singularities and in the real universe in which we exist.    They exist within the equations used by physicists, but like other singularities, their existence is only within the equations and not the actual universe itself.   While equations say the Universe at the time of the Big Bang was smaller than even a grapefruit and had an infinite density, the actual size and density may well have not been infinite small or infinitely dense.

Just as Black Holes have real size and real density, so to should the universe during it’s time before the Big Bang. Popular Astrophysicists nowadays do not often differentiate between the models of the universe, space, and time, essentially the coordinate-system which we use as part of our observations of the universe, and the actual real universe in which we live.  It’s not up to me to change their minds or their methods of explaining Physics.  It’s enough to know that some physicists think about these differences and these aspects of reality and science and others do not.

Time-Travel Movies this year. (Or was it last year?)

I just read a few reviews of the upcoming time-travel movie “Project Almanac” and saw a new trailer for Terminator: Genisys.   The writer for one review of Project Almanac was dismayed by the fact that the movie decides to focus on a character using time-travel to “hook up” with a girl he likes.  Things end up going wrong for “our protagonists” because….movies.  The reviewer (At CinemaBlend), gave it a bad review because the movie’s focus toward teen millennials (The main character in the movie is about to go to college, or wants to but can’t afford to go to the school he wants to).  and for having time-travel story deal with a romantic pursuit.   But to me thats human nature.  And it’s one possible and very good type of sic-fi that always shows what technology means for human relationships.  I think as much time on Star Trek: The Next Generation, for instance, spend as much time with subplots about crew relationships and everyday life kind of things as it did with the “geopolitics” between Klingons and the Federation of Planets.  (If I have that right).

The Terminator movie looks good.  The premise of the movie from the trailer is this:  John Conner sends a guy back to before Judgement Day to protect Sarah Conner from a Terminator that has been sent back to kill Sarah Conor.  Sarah Connor wants to try to prevent “Judgement Day,” the nuclear war Skynet starts to wipe out humanity.

So the paradox is if she does stop Judgement Day, time travel would still be invented but then if Skynet doesn’t make Terminator robots then all the terminator robots in the movie would disappear.   But this nature of time-travel won’t change whether people decide to go see the movie.   I myself saw Terminator 3 recently on a able movie channel, and it’s actually not as bad a movie as I remembered.  It definitely isn’t what would be called a “classic,” but there are so many good movies that wouldn’t fit into the “classic” category but are still fun movies.   (I could go on and on about the really good flow and visual style of Terminator 3:Rise of the Machines.)

To bring this full circle, The thing about Project Almanac is that the trailer does look good, and the reviewer praised the movie for having a cast that seemed to mimic “The Big Bang Theory” (And that show is one of the most popular shows on TV that happens to deal a lot with relationships.).   So while some people are used to Art Films and seeing serious sci-fi classics and all that, there’s no reason films can’t be both serious and fun at the same time, more specifically why a sci-fi movie can’t or shouldn’t have love or romance as part of it’s story.

Hollywood Throws a Party Oscar Night February 22nd

The Oscars are coming up (February 22nd), and the brew-ha is about the lack of diversity.  Last year was the break-out year for Lupita N’yongo in 12 Years a Slave.  Every year there is always just the fainting of diversity, this year Selma is nominated(rightly, so) for Best Picture, and Best Director, but this year there’s talk about David Oyelowo not being nominated for Best Actor.

Probably the thing about the Oscars is that there are only 5 nominated for Best Actor:  Steve Carell / Foxcatcher, Bradley Cooper / American Sniper, Benedict Cumberbatch / The Imitation Game  Michael Keaton / Birman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and Eddie Redmayne / The Theory of Everything.   So there are hundreds of good movies in 2014, and the idea of having 1 guy win the award for “Best Actor – In a Leading Role” is ridiculous.    But I just watched a few clips from Selma on Youtube (I’m going to see it this weekend), and seriously, seriously, David Oyelowo gives a powerful performance as MLK, Jr.  If it’s a choice between him and the five nominees, I’d have him nominated instead of Steve Carell.

Especially with pictures about Steven Hawking and Alan Turing.  But this is just about performance.  David Oyelowo is amazing as MLK, Jr.   I know nominations are based on votes.  Again, 5 Nominees for Best Actor, 5?  Really?  Yes, thats the sad truth.  Couldn’t fit it into the schedule I guess.   Ain’t that always how it is.  And really, why 12 Nominations for Best Picture, and only 5 Nominations for Actors, Actresses in Leading and Supporting Roles?  5 is a nice number, but come on.  For the sake of everyone, have more Nominees in each category.  At least just move it from 5 to 6.

What I’ve realized recently not only what a huge world it is, but that everyone is doing their thing, and those who are doing things are the one’s getting recognized and applauded.  When I say that, it usually is just the usual thing, their own take on it.  The basic originality of all of it is relative, everyone is unique, with unique visions and it comes out in their work.

While people have a right to see the obvious lack of diversity in Hollywood, I also know it’s a much larger world than Hollywood.  Someone else will apologize and praise Hollywood.  I don’t need to do that.  And there are LOTs of films that I’ve seen at the theater that I have all the respect for, for the cast and crew and everyone who made those films happen.

I already watched a review show on E! Entertainment on what people (the women) wore on the red carpet for the Golden Globes.  And everyone wore what they liked, it all, good and bad, suited their personalities.  Some when movie star style and classic style and everyone did their own thing.

There also comes a point when you wonder, where does criticism end and just storytelling begin.  I’d rather be a storyteller, for whatever reasons.  It’s more interesting than criticism, and storytelling reveals more truths.  It’s not about my own personal taste.  It’s about the stories of everyone within the frame of the story.

So while Oscar awards are getting me off my ass to see some good movies I haven’t seen yet, I also have it in a different perspective this year.  It’s almost like Hollywood has just bemuse another City, and there are Big Cities (and smaller Cities) everywhere.

I’m watching a Hollywood movie right now on TV.  And I’m thinking of The Imitation Game and what a great movie that was.   So it’s all always probably distinguishing the Movies themselves from Hype on the one hand and Criticism on the other.

Oscar Night is just one more night, one more 2 hour awards show.  Meanwhile, Life goes on.  The saying goes, All is Fair in Love and War.  The same could be said of Love and Filmmaking.    All is Possible.  All is Fair.  But this is simple.  Well, like everything else.  Too simple, or just right.

Theater, Space, and the Human Drama

Recently I saw a production of Othello at the Broward Center for the Arts with an actor friend of mine.  It was staged in a beautiful room (The Center contains many individual Theaters, classrooms, and rehearsal rooms.) The play was produced by a small local theater company, and every actor was fantastic in each of their roles.

Besides the play itself, I got to thinking of the space it was performed within. Specifically, how such a space is fairly common, definitely not a bar or club but a space specifically for theater, but the idea that all a theater company needs is space and an audience. And that particular theater company definitely had the audience, as the sizable room was filled to capacity on the production’s closing day.

It is fascinating to me that a company can tell a story like Othello that starts in Venice and continues and finishes on the island of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean, all on a stage and a space on that stage that is probably no larger than the room I’m sitting in now writing this.

The stage is designed to facilitate the movement of actors, and for the staging of Plays from Shakespeare to Checkov. And usually the locations are indeed the main living rooms in houses, or a castle here, or a town center there. The BBC were able to adapt one of their TV studios for a live TV adaptation of Shakespeare’s history plays entitled The Age of Kings. In one TV studio the set-designer created a set that included the interiors and exteriors of castles and battlefields. For the TV audience at home, the illusion was thus created that they were watching right there on their TV screen scenes and events in the lives of some of their countries most important monarchs. In his own time, Shakespeare’s plays brought the history of England’s monarchy’s to life in a livelier fashion than the History books within which those histories were written down. As to why theater has been popular from the time of the ancient Greeks all the way to today and why public readings of selections from history books have never been a popular form of entertainment is a subject for another time.

Even without a TV studio, a computer desk or a table at a coffeeshop has room and space enough to imagine anything from a small village to a thriving city like Venice or an island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean. And then all is left is the people who inhabit those cities and places, and the human dramas we often so read about in History Books and which are almost always the stuff of great literature.   Even as Shakespeare dealt with personal dramas, so to do contemporary playwrights and it is what most all TV dramas are about.  People follow their favorite TV shows for the main characters as well as their personal stories even as some TV shows are within the context of science-fiction worlds or supernatural stories set in the here and now.

Just like Shakespeare said All the World’s a Stage, it’s also true that anywhere can be a stage, a space, for theater, TV, and films.    Even thinking of music festivals with their multiple stages with days of music, there is always in this world 24-hour Cable TV, movies, and the Theater, independent films being filmed, TV studios running at full capacity, along with the living human drama of the billions of people on this planet.