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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
black hole
▪ The downtown area is an economic black hole.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
black hole

black hole \black" hole`\ 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 (called the Black Hole of Calcutta), into which 146 English prisoners were thrust by the nabob Suraja Dowla on the night of June 20, 1765, and in which 123 of the prisoners died before morning from lack of air.

A discipline of unlimited autocracy, upheld by rods, and ferules, and the black hole.
--H. Spencer.

2. (Physics, Astron.) An astronomical object whose mass is so condensed that the gravitational force does not allow anything, even light, to escape from its outer limit (the event horizon). The existence of such objects was first proposed from theoretical considerations. Because light cannot escape from such objects, they have not yet been detected with certainty (1998), but several "candidates" have been observed whose properties strongly suggest that they are black holes. Some theorists suggest that the centers of many galaxies may have large black holes at their cores. See also escape velocity.

3. [from the astronomical black hole.] a place into which things may enter, but can never emerge. [Fig., Jocose] "He was so disorganized his office was a black hole."

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary
black hole

in astrophysics, 1968, probably with awareness of Black Hole of Calcutta, incident of June 19, 1756, in which 146 British POWs taken by the Nawab of Bengal after the capture of Ft. William, Calcutta, were held overnight in punishment cell of the barracks (meant to hold 4 people) and all but 23 perished.

black hole

n. 1 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 collapse massive star. 2 (cx figuratively English) A void into which things disappear and/or from which nothing emerges. 3 # A sphere of influence into which or from which communication or similar activity is precluded. 4 # An entity which consumes time or resources without demonstrable utility. 5 A dungeon or dark cell in a prison; a military lock-up or guardroom.

black hole

n. a region of space resulting from the collapse of a star; extremely high gravitational field

Black hole (disambiguation)

A black hole is an object with sufficient density that the force of gravity prevents anything from escaping from it except through quantum tunneling behavior.

Black hole may also refer to:

Black Hole (solitaire)

Black Hole is a solitaire card game that is akin to Golf and Tri Peaks, but its tableau is somewhat like that of La Belle Lucie. Invented by David Parlett, this game's objective is to compress the entire deck into one foundation.

The cards are dealt to the tableau in piles of three. The leftover card, dealt first or last, is placed as a single foundation called the Black Hole. This card usually is the Ace of Spades, but any card can do.

Only the top cards of each pile in the tableau are available for play and in order for a card to be placed in the Black Hole, it must be a rank higher or lower than the top card on the Black Hole. This is the only allowable move in the entire game.

The game ends if there are no more top cards that can be moved to the Black Hole. The game is won if all of the cards end up in the Black Hole.

Black Hole (comics)

Black Hole is a twelve-issue comic book limited series written and illustrated by Charles Burns and published first by Kitchen Sink Press and then Fantagraphics. It was released in collected form in 2005 by Pantheon Books.

The story deals with the aftermath of a sexually transmitted disease which causes grotesque mutations in teenagers.

Black Hole (pinball)

Black Hole is a pinball game released in 1981 by Gottlieb. It is notable for having two playfields: one on top with a conventional slope, and one mounted underneath, sloping away from the player. It has no connection with the 1979 film of the same name.

Black hole (networking)

In networking, black holes refer to places in the network where incoming or outgoing traffic is silently discarded (or "dropped"), without informing the source that the data did not reach its intended recipient.

When examining the topology of the network, the black holes themselves are invisible, and can only be detected by monitoring the lost traffic; hence the name.

Black Hole (video game)

Black Hole is a fixed shooter arcade game released by Tokyo Denshi Sekkei in 1981. Players must shoot splitting "neutron mines" and flying saucers.

Black Hole (roller coaster)

Black Hole was an enclosed steel roller coaster at Alton Towers in Staffordshire, England. It operated from 1984 until 2005. The coaster was located within a huge black tent (formerly green and yellow) that ensured the ride took place in total darkness. The coaster itself was a Jet Star II, designed by Anton Schwarzkopf. During the time that the ride operated, the park also operated an outdoor Jet Star II, the Beast.

Black Hole (House)

"Black Hole" is the sixteenth episode of the sixth season of the American medical drama House. It was directed by Greg Yaitanes and written by Lawrence Kaplow. It aired on March 15, 2010.

House and team try to diagnose a high school senior suffering from blackouts and hallucinations, and are forced to take a controversial approach. Meanwhile, Taub brings his personal life into the workplace.

Black Hole (2013 film)

Black Hole is an unreleased movie, which is expected to be about Cyber-crime. The film focuses on the growth of Internet crime and how young people become involved and later trapped in the Cyber World. The movie is set for release in October 2013

Black hole

A black hole is a region of spacetime exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing—including particles and electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from inside it. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform spacetime to form a black hole. The boundary of the region from which no escape is possible is called the event horizon. Although crossing the event horizon has enormous effect on the fate of the object crossing it, it appears to have no locally detectable features. In many ways a black hole acts like an ideal black body, as it reflects no light. Moreover, quantum field theory in curved spacetime predicts that event horizons emit Hawking radiation, with the same spectrum as a black body of a temperature inversely proportional to its mass. This temperature is on the order of billionths of a kelvin for black holes of stellar mass, making it essentially impossible to observe.

Objects whose gravitational 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. Black holes were long considered a mathematical curiosity; it was during the 1960s that theoretical work showed they were a generic prediction of general relativity. The discovery of neutron stars sparked interest in gravitationally collapsed compact objects as a possible astrophysical reality.

Black holes of stellar mass are expected to form when very massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle. After a black hole has formed, it can continue to grow by absorbing mass from its surroundings. By absorbing other stars and merging with other black holes, supermassive black holes of millions of solar masses may form. There is general consensus that supermassive black holes exist in the centers of most galaxies.

Despite its invisible interior, the presence of a black hole can be inferred through its interaction with other matter and with electromagnetic radiation such as visible light. Matter that falls onto a black hole can form an external accretion disk heated by friction, forming some of the brightest objects in the universe. If there are other stars orbiting a black hole, their orbits can be used to determine the black hole's mass and location. Such observations can be used to exclude possible alternatives such as neutron stars. In this way, astronomers have identified numerous stellar black hole candidates in binary systems, and established that the radio source known as Sagittarius A*, at the core of our own Milky Way galaxy, contains a supermassive black hole of about 4.3 million solar masses.

On 11 February 2016, the LIGO collaboration announced the first observation of gravitational waves; because these waves were generated from a black hole merger it was the first ever direct detection of a binary black hole merger. On 15 June 2016, a second detection of a gravitational wave event from colliding black holes was announced.

gravitational lensing by a black hole, which distorts the image of a galaxy in the background

Black Hole (2015 film)

Black Hole is a feature-length documentary film about the blockade opposing the expansion of Whitehaven Coal's Maules Creek coal mine in the Leard State Forest, New South Wales. It was directed and produced by Joao Dujon Pereira and premiered on 3 September 2015 at the Environmental Film Festival Australia in Melbourne. Interview subjects appearing in the film include Jonathan Moylan, an environmental activist responsible for the production and distribution of a fraudulent press release regarding the ANZ bank's financial relationship with the coal mine in 2013.

Usage examples of "black hole".

Guns going off behind him like artillery now, just bam-bam-bam-bam, and he felt another hot load go hustling by, this one to the left of his head, and a black hole appeared in the siding below the broken window.

All he could see was a shattered mass of red and a black hole that had been her mouth.