Black Holes, Unicorns, and All That Stuff
The notion of black holes voraciously gobbling up
matter, twisting space-time into contortions that trap light,
stretching the unwary into long spaghetti-like strands as
they fall inward to ultimately collide and merge with an
infinitely dense point-mass singularity, has become a mantra
of the scientific community, so much so that even primary
school children know about the sinister black hole, waiting
patiently, like the Roman child’s Hannibal, for an opportunity
to abduct the unruly and the misbehaved. There are almost daily
reports of scientists claiming black holes again found here and
It is asserted that black holes range in size from micro to mini,
to intermediate and on up through to supermassive behemoths.
Black holes are glibly spoken of and accepted as scientific facts
and that they have been detected at the centre of galaxies.
Images of black holes having their wicked ways with surrounding
matter are routinely offered with reports of them. Some physicists
even claim that black holes will be created in particle accelerators,
such as the Large Hadron Collider, potentially able to swallow the
Earth, if care is not taken in their production.
Yet despite all this hoopla, contrary to the assertions of the
astronomers and astrophysicists of the black hole community, nobody
has ever identified a black hole, anywhere, let alone ‘imaged’ one.
The pictures adduced to convince are actually either artistic
impressions (i.e. drawings) or photos of otherwise unidentified
objects imaged by telescopes and merely asserted to be black holes,
The alleged signatures of the alleged black hole are an infinitely
dense point-mass singularity and an event horizon. Scientists
frequently assert that the escape velocity of a black hole (from
its event horizon) is that of light and that nothing, not even
light, can escape the black hole. In fact, according to the same
scientists, nothing, including light, can even leave the event
horizon. But there is already a problem with these bald claims
(black holes are also alleged to have ‘no hair’).
If the escape velocity of a black hole is that of light, then light,
on the one hand, can escape. On the other hand, light is allegedly
not able to even leave the event horizon, so the black hole has no
escape velocity. If the escape velocity of a black hole is that of
light, not only can light both leave and escape, material objects
can also leave the event horizon, but not escape, even though,
according to the Theory of Special Relativity, they can only have a
velocity less than that of light. This just means that material
bodies will leave the black hole and eventually stop and fall back
to the black hole, just like a ball thrown into the air here on
Earth with an initial velocity less than the escape velocity for
the Earth. So the properties of the alleged event horizon of a
black hole are irretrievably contradictory.
What of the infinitely dense point-mass singularity at the heart
of the black hole? It is supposed to be formed by irresistible
gravitational collapse so that matter is crushed into zero volume,
into a ‘point’, a so-called ‘point-mass’. One recalls from high
school that density is defined as the mass of an object divided
by the volume of the object. If the mass is not zero and the
volume is zero, as in the case of a black hole, one gets division
by zero. But all school children know that division by zero is not
allowed by the rules of mathematics. Nonetheless, black hole
proponents are, by some special privilege, somehow permitted to
flout the rules of elementary mathematics and divide by zero! No,
the scientists too cannot divide by zero, despite their claims to
Furthermore, black holes are allegedly obtained from
Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. It is called the
General Theory because it is a generalisation of his Special
Theory of Relativity. As such, General Relativity cannot, by
definition, violate Special Relativity, but that is
precisely what the black hole does.
Special Relativity forbids infinite densities because,
according to that Theory, infinite density implies infinite
energy (or equivalently that a material object can acquire the
speed of light in vacuo). Therefore General Relativity too
forbids infinite densities. But the point-mass singularity of
the black hole is allegedly infinitely dense, in violation of
Special Relativity. Thus the Theory of Relativity forbids the
existence of a black hole.
Non-event on the Horizon
What now of the event horizon of the black hole? According to
the proponents of the black hole it takes an infinite amount
of time for an observer to watch an object (via the light
from that object, of course) fall into the event horizon. So
it therefore takes an infinite amount of time for the observer
to verify the existence of an event horizon and thereby
confirm the presence of a black hole. However, nobody has been
and nobody will be around for an infinite amount of time in
order to verify the presence of an event horizon and hence the
presence of a black hole. Nevertheless, scientists claim that
black holes have been found all over the place.
The fact is nobody has assuredly found a black hole anywhere –
no infinitely dense point-mass singularity and no event horizon.
Some black hole proponents are more circumspect in how they
claim the discovery of their black holes. They instead say that
their evidence for the presence of a black hole is indirect.
But such indirect ‘evidence’ cannot be used to justify the
claim of a black hole, in view of the fatal contradictions
associated with infinitely dense point-mass singularities and
event horizons. One could just as well assert the existence
and presence of deep space unicorns on the
basis of such ‘evidence’.
"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."
- Albert Einstein
It is also of great importance to be mindful of the fact that
no observations gave rise to the notion of a black hole in the
first place, for which a theory had to be developed. The black
hole was wholly spawned in the reverse, i.e. it was created by
theory and observations subsequently misconstrued to legitimize
the theory. Reports of black holes are just wishful thinking in
support of a belief; not factual in any way.
Another major and fatal contradiction in the idea of the black
hole is the allegation that black holes can be components of
binary systems, collide or merge. Let us, for the sake of
argument, assume that black holes are predicted by General
Relativity. The black hole is fundamentally described by a
certain mathematical expression called a line-element (which
is just a fancy name for a distance formula, like that learnt
in high school) that involves just one alleged mass in the
entire Universe (just the alleged source of a gravitational
field), since the said distance formula is a solution for a
space-time allegedly described by Einstein’s equations in
vacuum (or, more accurately, emptiness), namely Ric = 0.
One does not need to know anything at all about the
mathematical intricacies of this equation to see that it
cannot permit the presence of one black hole, let alone
two or more black holes. The mathematical object denoted
by Ric is what is called a tensor (in this case it is
Ricci’s tensor, and hence its notation). The reason why
Ric = 0 is because in Einstein’s General Theory of
Relativity all matter that contributes to the source of
the gravitational field must be described by another tensor,
called the energy-momentum tensor. In the case of the
so-called vacuum field equations the energy-momentum tensor
is set to zero, because there is no mass or radiation present
by hypothesis. Otherwise Ric would not be equal to zero. So
the alleged black hole can interact with nothing, not even
an ‘observer’. Ric = 0 is not a two body situation, only,
allegedly, a one body situation (and hence quite meaningless).
One cannot just introduce extra objects into a given solution
to Einstein’s field equations, because his theory asserts
that the curvature of space-time (i.e. the gravitational field)
is due to the presence of matter and that the said matter, all
of it, must be described by his energy-momentum tensor. If the
energy-momentum tensor is zero, there is no matter present.
Einstein's field equations are nonlinear, so the ‘Principle of
Superposition’ does not apply. Before one can talk of
relativistic binary systems it must first be proved that the
two-body system is theoretically well-defined by General Relativity.
This can be done in only two ways:
(a) Derivation of an exact solution to Einstein's field
equations for the two-body configuration of matter; or
(b) Proof of an existence theorem.
There are no known solutions to Einstein's field equations
for the interaction of two (or more) masses, so option (a)
has never been fulfilled. No existence theorem has ever been
proved, by which Einstein's field equations even admit of
latent solutions for such configurations of matter, and so
option (b) has never been fulfilled either. Since Ric = 0 is
a statement that there is no matter in the Universe, one
cannot simply insert a second black hole into the space-time
of Ric = 0 of a given black hole so that the resulting two
black holes (each obtained separately from Ric = 0) mutually
interact in a mutual spacetime that by definition contains
One cannot simply assert by an analogy with Newton's theory
that two black holes can be components of binary systems,
collide or merge, because the ‘Principle of Superposition’
does not apply in Einstein's theory. Moreover, General
Relativity has to date been unable to account for the simple
experimental fact that two fixed bodies will approach one
another upon release. So from where does the matter allegedly
associated with the solution to Ric = 0 come, when this is a
statement that there is no matter present? The proponents of
the black hole just put it in at the end, a posteriori
and ad hoc, in violation of their starting
hypothesis that Ric = 0.
Finally, the fundamental solution to Ric = 0 is usually called
the "Schwarzschild solution". Despite its name, it is not in
fact Schwarzschild’s solution. Schwarzschild’s actual solution
forbids black holes. The frequent claim that Schwarzschild
found and advocated a black hole solution is patently false, as
a reading of Schwarzschild’s paper on the subject irrefutably
testifies. False too are the claims that he predicted an event
horizon and that he determined the "Schwarzschild radius" (i.e.
the alleged ‘radius’ of the black hole event horizon).
Schwarzschild actually had nothing to do with the black hole,
but attaching his name to it lends the notion an additional
façade of scientific legitimacy.
Stephen J. Crothers
Permalink to this article.
Stephen Crothers is a Mathematician and Physicist, and a member of the
Academy of Sciences and the
Santilli-Galilei Association on Scientific Truth.
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Artist's impression (cartoon) of a black hole. CREDIT: Dave Smith and
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