Wednesday 24 June 2020

Proper acceleration, Spaghettification and G2

After that Exercise 5.5 I thought I was an expert on falling into a black hole and and that I could calculate the 'proper acceleration' and spaghettification which is the term used for what happens when acceleration differs so much in different parts of your body that you get stretched out like the doomed lady on the right.

Then there is there is the matter of the gas cloud known as G2, which was discovered heading towards Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the centre of our galaxy, in 2011 by some folk at the Max Planck Institute. G2 was destined to come closest to Sagittarius A* in Spring 2014 "with a predicted closest approach of only 3000 times the radius of the event horizon". There was great excitement because spaghettification and great fireworks were expected. However nothing much happened and G2 continues on its way, orbiting Sagittarius A*.

I attempted to do some calculations and tested them on Physics Forums and got adverse comments from PeterDonis. Ibix was more positive "I think your maths is correct ...". PeterDonis showed me the 'correct' way of calculating proper acceleration and then dragged me back to the geodesic deviation equation which is the right way to calculate spaghettification. But I still don't fully understand said equation and how to use it😭. I also learnt a bit more about units: 'natural' and 'geometric'. PeterDonis is a hard task master.

The correct way to calculate proper acceleration gives infinite acceleration at the event horizon. One benefit of that is that it tells you that you cannot escape falling through it, once close enough. That is true. The drawback is that it makes the radial change in acceleration also infinite. So you will get ripped up at the event horizon. That is not true given a big enough black hole.

Here are my calculations (about four pages) and what I learnt (another three).
Commentary 5.6#4 Proper acceleration.pdf 

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