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Physics/Black holes

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QUESTION: Dear Sir,
I think there had been quite some time passed away before our last conversation. You know I've always been a keen student and have loved your answers. Last day I was going through one of Stephen Hawking's lectures titled " Black holes ain't so black" wherein he describes about black holes( to be true he's one of my favourites). But I could understand clearly the actual concepts and what he said is Chandrasekhar limit.

I'll be glad if you could take the pains to explain these clearly to me.
Thanking you,
AB

ANSWER: The Chandresekhar limit is the maximum mass that a white dwarf star could have before its Schwarzchild radius (the radius of a black hole of equivalent mass) surpassed its physical radius.  Beyond that limit, it would collapse into a black hole.  Aside from that, I'm not sure specifically what else you want to know.

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QUESTION: How is a black hole formed?

Answer
As far as I know, when mass gets beyond a limit where the spacetime distortion exceeds a limit (the Chandresekhar limit) it forms a black hole.  The process itself is a bit of a mystery.  I've never seen a detailed breakdown of what would happen during the process of forming a black hole.  It would be ground-breaking research, really.  If something comes up along those lines, I'll ammend this post.

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Education/Credentials
Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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