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Question

Does a black hole violate the Law of Conservation of Matter/Energy?
Asked by: Adam R. Scott

Answer

Neither the existence nor the behavior of black holes violates conservation laws. All matter and energy falling into a black hole increase its mass, with the energy converted into mass via Einstein's E=mc2.

The eventual 'evaporation' of black holes via the emission of so called Hawking radiation reverses the process, changing mass into energy, but the total mass and energy of the system is still conserved.
Answered by: Paul Walorski, B.A. Physics, Part-time Physics Instructor


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Science Quote

'The mathematician's patterns, like the painter's or the poets, must be beautiful; the ideas, like the colours or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in the world for ugly mathematics.'

Godfrey Hardy
(1877-1947)


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