Black hole is a term that has been heard by many people in different physics fields. However, only few people know the real meaning of black hole. Black hole issue has been surrounded by several questions including what it really is, when and how black holes are formed, is it possible for researchers to view black hole and what ‘event horizon’ is in relation to black hole. Speculations have emerged due to these questions including arguments of scientists who favor the vision and existence of black hole.
Black hole refers to a theoretical body that general relativity equations predict. Gravitational activities cause a star with significant mass to collapse. Subsequently, the entire or most of the mass of the star compresses to form a small space area. According to scientists, the collapse is followed by infinite curvature of space-time. Space-time curvature hinders everything including light from seeping from an event horizon. This is also called a boarder (Frolov, 1998).
People have always debated on the occurrence and existence of black holes because nobody has ever observed them directly. They are only favored by the argument that their effects have projections that match their observations. Nevertheless, alternative theories exist. Among the notable theories include the Magnetospheric Eternally Collapsing Objects (MECOs). This theory attempts to exemplify the scientific observations.
However, most alternate theories eliminate space-time singularity’s existence that is found at the center of the black hole. Nevertheless, the argument of most scientists favor the explanation of black hole by stating that it is a viable explanation that attempts to elaborate what happens (Hooft, 1985).
Black holes issue is not something new. Debates that can be traced to as early as 18th century touched on this issue. At this time, some people proposed that light was attracted by super-massive objects. The inclination of another light theory called Newtonian Optics was towards perceiving and treating light as simple particles.
John Michell wrote an article in 1784 forecasting an entity whose radius was 500 times the radius of sun despite their density being the same but the sun being able to attain an escape velocity which can be equal to that of light. According to Michell, the entity could become invisible. Nevertheless, not many people were interested in such a theory at that time. Eventually, the theory was forgotten during the 20th century.
The light theory quickly replaced this theory becoming prominent in the 20th century. Both theories are now out-phased. While referencing them in regards to the contemporary physics, scientists call them ‘dark stars’ as a way of distinguishing them and the black holes of the modern science (Frolov, 1998).
Black holes’ concept became prominent after the 1916 Albert Einstein’s publication of general relativity. Karl Schwartzchild, a physicist wasted no time before coming up with a solution to Einstein’s equation of the spherical mass. This is commonly known as the Schwartzchild metric. The results of this solution were unprecedented. The character of the term used in expressing the radius eventually became disorienting. For some radius, zero seemed to be the denominator. This factor made mathematical calculations impossible or extremely complicated. Nevertheless, the approach aimed at shedding light on the black hole concept.
Over time, many people supported the black hole theory. The deduction of Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, a prominent physicist was that stars with solar masses of 1.44 and above ought to collapse on experiencing general relativity. The view of another physicist called Arthur Eddington was that some properties had the ability to avert a collapse. Through personal ways, evidence has been found to show that both physicists were right.
Theory’s development was also influenced significantly by Robert Oppenheimer, a physicist. In 1939, Robert forecasted a supper-massive star with the ability to collapse and create a unique ‘frozen star’ not just in mathematics’ perspective but a natural perspective. His prediction was that this collapse would cause a slow down leading to a freezing time within the juncture when it would cross Schwartzchild radius (Rs).
According to the physicist, the light that would emerge from this star would undergo a red shift at the Rs. Nevertheless, the belief of several scientists is that this is a trait that Schwartzchild metric has because of its nature which is majorly symmetrical. Their view is that this collapse would naturally not occur in actuality since asymmetries are prevalent in most light stars that have been identified so far (Hooft, 1985).
In 1967, almost a half of a century following the Schwartxchild Radius’ discovery, Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose provided a prove that showed that general relativity caused black holes. Their work further showed that the collapse could not be averted in any way. Pulsars discovery enhanced this while enabling John Wheeler to use the word black hole during a lecture that was in the late 1967. Hawking radiation’s discovery has been incorporated in the subsequent researches which prove the ability of black holes to emit radiation.
Speculation about black hole is another issue. Theorists and researchers who want to challenge the concept are associated with this speculation. An accord that is almost universal exists in the modern world. This accord is about black holes’ existence. Nevertheless, it has always been impossible for scientists to agree on the black holes’ actual nature.
Several unanswered questions concerning black holes’ nature exist. The belief that is held by some individuals is that materials that are lost in the black holes can reappear elsewhere in the universe. They argue that this is similar to wormhole’s case. Significant developments have also been made about the concept of black holes. Hawking radiation is one of the most prominent developments introduced by Stephen Hawking, a British physicist in 1974.
Hawking radiation refers to a theoretical projection whose focus is the explanation of thermal properties relating to the concept of black holes. Black holes are considered to have gravitational fields that are very powerful and these enable them to draw matter and energy. Jacob Bekenstein tried to explain the theory more by suggesting that the entropy of black holes should be well-defined. This resulted in thermodynamics’ development for black hole which incorporates energy emission. Hawking radiation was eventually developed and this has remained influential in black holes studies (Hooft, 1985).
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Frolov, V. V. P., & Novikov, I. D. (1998). Black hole physics: basic concepts and new developments (Vol. 96). Springer.
Hooft, G. (1985). On the quantum structure of a black hole. Nuclear Physics B, 256, 727-745.
A company may opt to charge varying prices for its identical goods to various market segments. In marketing terms, this is known as price discrimination. However, this business practices is faced with a lot of controversy based on its legality and morality. Some people say that it is an unethical and illegal practice to exercise discrimination among customers through the use of prices while some argue that since the businesses operate in a free market, it is their right to come up with prices in a way that they consider is suitable and fulfils their best interests.
Consumer ignorance is one of the factors that promote price discrimination. Consumers of certain products especially the technical products like medicines are usually not informed of the costs of production of the services and products. Besides, they are also unaware of the prices at which the products are sold to consumers in other parts of the market. Suppliers who are often monopolies take advantage of this ignorance to sell their products at maximum possible prices that can be paid by the consumers who are ignorant of such information.
According to Reinhardt (2013), price discrimination has been the major factor that has enabled many American medical practitioners to make huge profits. He goes ahead to point out that national medical insurers with higher bargaining power like Federal Medicare and national Medicaid programs generally pay lower rates than the cost of medical services while privately owned insurance companies with less bargaining power and privately insured patients with no idea of the medical costs and desperately need treatment are charged higher prices for medical services. Patients who are not insured are particularly charged based on their perceived level of income while those thought to be well off are charged heavily while those thought to be poor are given various discounts to make their bills much less. The main idea behind overcharging patients who are not insured is to cover up for the losses made from charging Medicare and Medical patients prices that are lower than the actual costs of medical services.
Price discrimination is not outlawed and can be legally exercised in a free market whereby the state does not interfere in the setting up of prices. However, the controversy arises when it comes to the determination of the morality, ethical standing and economical viability of the practice. From the viewpoint of business, price discrimination is beneficial to the business since it maximizes the revenues and helps in the recovery of losses made in other areas. Businesses may also reason that the extra income earned from price discrimination is re-invested into the business to enlarge it and create employment towards the benefit of the society.
On the other hand, the consumer has very little to celebrate from price discrimination. If a consumer finds himself or herself on the segment of the market that is overcharged, the surplus income will be obviously drained thereby impacting his or her savings negatively. The criteria used in price discrimination might also be faulty. Those who are considered to be economically stable might not be rich and those considered to be poor might be in a position of paying higher prices. Therefore, the criteria applied might not serve the moral obligation of helping the poor. A company can use price discrimination as a competitive strategy against its competitors. The consumer may enjoy provided that competition is alive but in the event that other companies are defeated and forced to quit the market as a result of discriminative prices, there will be a monopoly which has higher chances of oppressing customers with inflated prices.
Apart from the small fraction of consumers that pay low prices as a result of discriminative pricing, other direct merits of discriminative pricing to consumers are not easy to point out. Even the low prices are challenging for a firm to maintain in the long run since they are hiked soon after. Price discrimination is usually applied to serve the best interest of the business and not necessarily that of the consumer. Thus, as a consumer, I am not supportive of the practice of price discrimination.
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