Black Holes: To where do they lead?

black hole

In Christopher Nolan’s latest film Interstellar, the protagonist played by Matthew Mcconaughey finds himself floating through an alternate dimension after diving into a black hole. In the dimension, Mcconaughey is able to view different sequences of time through a wormhole-type entity located in the bookshelf of his daughter’s bedroom. Ever since their existence was proven with Einstein’s theory of general relativity in 1915, black holes have become the basis of several science fiction films such as Nolan’s Interstellar. Most of these films portray black holes as “portals” to alternate dimensions or universes, ultimately distorting the general public’s understanding of the subject.

According to Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, a star in the universe will curve and distort the space around it as it is formed. The more massive and compact the star, the more space is distorted. When the star finally burns out all of its nuclear fuel, it then cools and shrinks, forming a bottomless pit in spacetime, otherwise known as a “black hole”. The gravitational pull of these massive holes are so great that not even light can escape them.

Due to this immense gravitational pull, anything that comes close to the black hole will automatically get pulled inside of it, ultimately becoming a part of it. If you were to “dive” into a black hole like Mcconaughey’s character in Interstellar, the strong gravitational pull would drag your body out further and further, stretching you to the point of which the atoms that you are made up of get disassembled. So, to put it bluntly, there is no “other side” of a black hole; the only thing these massive pits lead to would be a very painful (yet very epic) death.

However, in bigger black holes, death isn’t so untimely. Every black hole contains a boundary called the “event horizon”, the point in which gravity becomes so strong that everything, including light itself, is dragged into the black hole to the point of no escaping. The bigger the black hole, the more likely it is to reach the event horizon without getting pulled apart and destroyed, allowing you the explorer to further “inspect” the inside of the black hole. However, since this type of “inspection” without destruction is virtually impossible , we’ll just leave the black hole exploration to Mr. Mcconaughey and his team of courageous astronauts.


“What is on the Other Side of a Black Hole?” by Frasier Chan

“Into a Black Hole” by Stephen Hawking                                           

3 thoughts on “Black Holes: To where do they lead?

  1. Nicole Rene Gelb

    I have been dying to see the movie interstellar it look so incredible. This blog post was interesting however I thought black holes were a lot more complicated and cool than described in your post. I think it is very fascinating how strong black hole are and how difficult it is for anything to escape its grasp including light. Although black holes are small in size they are extremely powerful. After reading this blog post I am even more excited to see the film interstellar. Over all this blog post was very informative, and taught me more than I have ever known about the creation and strength of black holes. Here is an article that addresses more information on the subject of black holes,

  2. Gregory Joseph Macqueen

    I have recently seen this movie and it is very hard to wrap my mind around the idea of a black hole. They are such a big part of our solar system, yet it is very hard to learn more about them. I agree with you that films do greatly distort our image of black holes. I only have a very brief understanding of this subject but after reading this post i now have a much better understanding of what black holes actually are. Do you think within the next decade science will enable us to learn more about black holes and our solar system? I think it would be very interesting and beneficial to have more knowledge about the world we live in.

  3. Taylor Michael Evcic

    I recently saw Interstellar over Thanksgiving break and to say my mind was blow may be an understatement. Whether or not the things in that movie are true, it was pretty cool to watch. I have always thought of a black hole as the ultimate phenomenon. But after hearing it explained it’s not as cool as I actually thought. I think you did a really great job of connecting this to the Interstellar movie. It makes it easier to understand and a lot more relatable when thinking about it that way!

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