What is the difference between black hole singularity and big bang singularity?

Asked by: Ivo Roolaht


The Big Bang singularity is a point of zero volume, but very high mass, which makes the density infinite. This singularity contained all of the matter and energy in the Universe. The initial moment of the cyclopean explosion very well remains a mystery — however, astronomers and physicists believe that after the tiniest fraction of a second, the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force separated, which probably caused the Universe to begin inflating. The Big Bang itself created space, time, and all of the matter and energy we know today.

Black hole singularities are created after the core of a very massive star collapses beyond an imaginary sphere called the event horizon. Since these singularities are infinitesimally small, they possess infinite density.

The differences are that black hole singularities, of course, do not contain all of the matter and energy in the Universe because there are so many of them. There was only one Big Bang singularity, and it contained the whole Universe. Another difference is that space and time were born from the Big Bang singularity, and black holes actually stretches out space to the point where it probably rips the fabric of space-time, and ends time altogether.

According to Stephen W. Hawking, singularities either occur entirely in the future or entirely in the past. In this case, black hole singularities always lie in the future (if you were to go near one, your time will come to an end), and the Big Bang singularity always lie in the past (if you were able to rewind time, galaxies will become closer together, eventually coming together at a point).

Answered by: Joel Novicio, Undergraduate Physics Student, South San Francisco

Depends on which type of black hole you consider. If you consider a simple non-rotating black hole, I can't really think of a difference between the singularities (other than the fact that one exists within the universe whereas the other 'was the universe' - but this is irrelevant).

In both cases the singularity was a single point where the curvature of space time are infinite. It is believed that at this point the general theory of relativity (almost universally accepted as 'the' accurate description of gravity) ceases to hold true.

The singularity of a rotating black hole is essentially the same except that it exists in a ring (thus the name ring singularity). The consequences of a rotating black hole (if they exist - we have no direct proof that any type of black holes exist) however, are very different from non-rotating ones.

Answered by: K Shaban, CS/Physics Student, Carnegie Mellon

A black hole singularity is the dimensionless point where all matter pulled into the back hole is concentrated. It has infinite density and therefore does not exist within space-time as it is the point of infinite curvature of space-time.

The big bang singularity is where all the mass of the universe used to be concentrated. It had all of the properties of a black hole singularity but from it 'grew' space time and matter was released into this space as the fundamental particles of very high energy. This is the big bang. Therefore, the main difference is that a black hole singularity is the end of space time (and pulls matter in) and the big bang singularity is the beginning of space time (where matter and space were made 'real').

Answered by: Martin Archer, Physics A Level Student, Surrey, UK



Science Quote

'A theory with mathematical beauty is more likely to be correct than an ugly one that fits some experimental data. God is a mathematician of a very high order, and He used very advanced mathematics in constructing the universe.'

Paul Dirac
Science Sidebar | Science Education Articles
Cool Summer Science Projects

Why not make science a part of your family’s summer? Perhaps you can set aside one day a week for outdoor projects—maybe Mad Scientist Monday or Scientific Saturday? Here are a few ideas to help get you started. Continue reading ...

10 Ways to Keep Your Kids Interested In Science

Young children are natural scientists: they ask questions, pick up sticks and bugs outside, and are curious about the world around them. But as they get a bit older, many kids gradually lose their interest in science. They might see it as just another task at school, something that doesn't apply to their lives. Of course nothing could be further from the truth, so here are ten ways you can remind your kids that science is everywhere. Most of these are fun for adults, too! Continue reading ...

Top Selling

Here are our physics & astronomy bestsellers:
Magnetic Levitator - Classic
3D Magnetic Field Tube
Revolving Multi-Color Fiberoptic Light
KonusScience 5 Way Microscope Kit
Space Wonder Gyroscope
Tin Can Robot 4M Kit
Solar Radiometer
Wood Grain Newtons Cradle
12 inch Galileo Thermometer


USC University of Southern California Dornsife College Physics and Astronomy Department McMaster University Physics and Astronomy Department