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Star and Black Hole nearly collide

March 31, 2013

Star and Black Hole nearly collide

Wikipedia has a table comparing the 4 fundamental forces. So the electromagnetic force is 10^36 times stronger than gravity (that’s a 1 with 36 zeros) The reason why gravity appears so strong, especially with black holes, is that in systems as large as planets, there tend to be as many positive charges as negative, so the electrical force cancels out, but the strength of gravity just keeps adding up with mass, regardless of charge. Lets think about two cows, standing about a meter apart in a field. The gravitational force of attracting between them? Pretty small. These cows are staying put, chewing that grass. The gravity between them and the earth is much greater because the earth is much bigger. Now lets put these cows in way out in space (Physics is always being so mean. Putting people frictionless vacuums and such), still a meter apart. They would eventually float towards each other due to gravity (a really really rough calculation I did says it would take a little under 5 minutes, correct me if I’m wrong). Now if one of these cows was purely positive charges and the other was negative? These cows would fly at each other effectively instantly. The force between two cow sized lumps of charge would be incredible. Edit: Typoed the relative strength of the EM force.


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