Chapter

Black Holes: Big Picture

Valeri P. Frolov and Andrei Zelnikov

in Introduction to Black Hole Physics

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199692293
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731860 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692293.003.0001
Black Holes: Big Picture

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Gravity is the weakest interaction known in the Physics. Nevertheless it plays the leading role in astrophysics and cosmology. We discuss specific properties of gravity, explaining why it happens, and introduce the notion of a black hole. We describe final states of a star evolution and conditions, when a massive star collapses and forms a black hole. The Chapter contains also a brief review of the astrophysical evidences of the black hole existence, and describes methods used for identification of stellar mass and supermassive black holes. At the end of this Chapter we review the status of black holes in the modern theoretical physics, unsolved problems of black hole physics, and new ideas how to use black holes as probes of extra dimensions.

Keywords: astrophysical black holes; binary systems; supermassive black holes; extra dimensions

Chapter.  24593 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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