Why Can't You Escape from a Black Hole?
Discover how your students can use a water fountain to understand black holes.
One of the most frequently made statements about black holes is that "nothing can escape from a black hole." But what exactly does this mean? And why can't anything escape?
In this activity, students first explore this statement from the perspective of Newton's theory of universal gravitation using the concept of escape velocity. Next, they consider it from the perspective of Einstein's model of gravity (general relativity) using a simple hands-on water-based model of a black hole. They realize for themselves a limitation of Newton's model and how Einstein's model more accurately describes the properties of black holes.
Intended Audience: Senior High (Gr 11-12)
Topics: Black Holes, Gravity, Relativity
This individual lesson plan is part of the Black Holes lesson compilation.