How does gravity escape a black hole?

Posted by Pinki | Updated on

There are some good answers here already but I hope this is a nice short summary:

Electromagnetic radiation cannot escape a black hole, because it travels at the speed of light. Similarly, gravitational radiation cannot escape a black hole either, because it too travels at the speed of light. If gravitational radiation could escape, you could theoretically use it to send a signal from the inside of the black hole to the outside, which is forbidden.

A black hole, however, can have an electric charge, which means there is an electric field around it. This is not a paradox because a static electric field is different from electromagnetic radiation. Similarly, a black hole has a mass, so it has a gravitational field around it. This is not a paradox either because a gravitational field is different from gravitational radiation.

You say the gravitational field carries information about the amount of mass (actually energy) inside, but that does not give a way for someone inside to send a signal to the outside, because to do so they would have to create or destroy energy, which is impossible. Thus there is no paradox.

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