Big Bang and Black Holes
Date: Winter 2012-2013
Many know that a black hole is a star that has collapsed into a small diameter with a tremendous gravitational field, so strong that light does not even escape. If this is true, how is it that the Big Bang could have ever happened, when the ball from which the big bang originated contained all the matter that is now floating in the Universe. The gravitational pull within the small ball, that contained all that matter, which is now floating out in the Universe, prior to the explosion, would have been billions of times greater then the gravitational pull of a black hole, so how could it have exploded in the first place, when the density of the matter of the big bang would have dwarfed, even the largest of black holes.
It is false to equate the physical properties of a black hole to that of the Big Bang. Black holes, as we know them, exist within the larger universe, whereas the object in the Big Bang was the universe itself, there was nothing outside of that object. Moreover, black holes contain incredibly dense matter (to account for the astounding gravitational forces they exhibit), but the object in the Big Bang was not considered matter - matter had not yet existed prior to the Big Bang. There really is a discontinuity between what the universe was prior to the Big Bang as opposed to a second after the Big Bang when matter, as we know it, formed.
Greg (Roberto Gregorius)
This is a very good and profound question. Perhaps the best answer is that if we are actually living within the event horizon of the colossal black hole that formed our universe, then all we can see is what lies within our universe, and nothing without. There is an astrophysical term called naked singularity. There is a suggestion that the Big Bang itself was and is such a singularity. I hope I have helped a bit on your excellent question.
David H. Levy
Click here to return to the Astronomy Archives
Update: December 2011