Definitions for black hole
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a theoretical massive object, formed at the beginning of the universe or by the gravitational collapse of a star exploding as a supernova, whose gravitational field is so intense that no electromagnetic radiation can escape.
a void into which things vanish permanently.
Category: Common Vocabulary
Origin of black hole:
a region of space resulting from the collapse of a star; extremely high gravitational field
A gravitationally domineering celestial body with an event horizon from which even light cannot escape; the most dense material in the universe, condensed into a singularity, usually formed by a collapsing massive star.
A sphere of influence into which or from which communication or similar activity is precluded.
An entity which consumes time or resources without demonstrable utility.
a dungeon or dark cell in a prison; a military lock-up or guardroom; -- now commonly with allusion to the cell (the Black Hole) in a fort at Calcutta, into which 146 English prisoners were thrust by the nabob Suraja Dowla on the night of June 20, 17656, and in which 123 of the prisoners died before morning from lack of air
A black hole is a region of spacetime from which gravity prevents anything, including light, from escaping. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole. Around a black hole, there is a mathematically defined surface called an event horizon that marks the point of no return. The hole is called "black" because it absorbs all the light that hits the horizon, reflecting nothing, just like a perfect black body in thermodynamics. Quantum field theory in curved spacetime predicts that event horizons emit radiation like a black body with a finite temperature. This temperature is inversely proportional to the mass of the black hole, making it difficult to observe this radiation for black holes of stellar mass or greater. Objects whose gravity fields are too strong for light to escape were first considered in the 18th century by John Michell and Pierre-Simon Laplace. The first modern solution of general relativity that would characterize a black hole was found by Karl Schwarzschild in 1916, although its interpretation as a region of space from which nothing can escape was first published by David Finkelstein in 1958. Long considered a mathematical curiosity, it was during the 1960s that theoretical work showed black holes were a generic prediction of general relativity. The discovery of neutron stars sparked interest in gravitationally collapsed compact objects as a possible astrophysical reality.
The New Hacker's Dictionary
[common] What data (a piece of email or netnews, or a stream of TCP/IP packets) has fallen into if it disappears mysteriously between its origin and destination sites (that is, without returning a bounce message). “I think there's a black hole at foovax!” conveys suspicion that site foovax has been dropping a lot of stuff on the floor lately (see drop on the floor). The implied metaphor of email as interstellar travel is interesting in itself. Readily verbed as blackhole: “That router is blackholing IDP packets.” Compare bit bucket and see RBL.
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