# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: What is Singularity?  (Read 2636 times)

#### gSal93

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##### What is Singularity?
« on: 17/12/2009 07:02:11 »
I have been trying to understand Singularity by reading about it at places but failed...
Could somebody please explain me Singularity in simple words??

#### Zufolek

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##### What is Singularity?
« Reply #1 on: 17/12/2009 09:46:57 »
It's my understanding that a gravitational singularity is where some amount of junk has been crammed into a point of zero volume so that there's infinite density. Some people think they exist in the center of black holes.

#### PhysBang

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##### What is Singularity?
« Reply #2 on: 17/12/2009 16:17:28 »
A singularity is any place in any kind of physics where a quantity (described by the mathematics of the physics) approaches infinity.

Now, from what I can recall: In some cases, the quantity is one that we can ignore. That is, it is a quantity that doesn't play a role in determining the dynamics of the system at that point. For example, in tracing a wave that converges on a single point (like say a wave travelling through a drum head and bouncing back to the middle), certain quantities of the wave will approach infinity as we mathematically approach the point of convergence, but none of these quantities are be used to determine the dynamics of the wave.

In the case of cosmology, which I am more sure of, if we trace the expansion of the universe backwards, we get a number of singularities. One of these is the average density of the universe. This is one among other cosmological quantities that behave similarly poorly at the same point in the past and that are important quantity to the dynamics of the universe.

This would be a big problem for cosmology, if not for the fact that the conditions that allow us to describe the universe using our best theories break down near where we expect there to be a singularity in the past. So there might not actually be a singularity there, or there might not be a singularity there that is fatal to cosmological theories.

Attempts to work out alternatives around this singularity really require significantly more information about high energy physics.

#### JP

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##### What is Singularity?
« Reply #3 on: 17/12/2009 21:42:02 »
A singularity is any place in any kind of physics where a quantity (described by the mathematics of the physics) approaches infinity.

The term "singular" is also used to describe places where the value of something isn't well-defined.

#### Ron Hughes

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##### What is Singularity?
« Reply #4 on: 17/12/2009 22:05:01 »
If your referring to a gravitational singularity the conventional definition is a point in space where matter has infinite density and zero volume. Outside that definition, it is a place where matter has been converted to radiation and the wavelength of that radiation approaches zero. That is the only way you can cram matter into zero volume.
« Last Edit: 17/12/2009 22:07:57 by Ron Hughes »

#### Soul Surfer

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• keep banging the rocks together
##### What is Singularity?
« Reply #5 on: 17/12/2009 23:14:50 »
A singularity or point is a mathematical concept that is used by mathematical physicists when they want to simplify the structure in their equations either because they do not need any more precision or they just don't know how to handle it  it is similar to poles in electronics equations.  It is just not worth getting hooked up on them.  In the real world they do not and cannot exist  there will be some structure associated with the "singularities" in the middle of a black hole but we just don't know how to describe them  yet.

#### gSal93

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##### What is Singularity?
« Reply #6 on: 22/12/2009 18:58:34 »
It's my understanding that a gravitational singularity is where some amount of junk has been crammed into a point of zero volume so that there's infinite density. Some people think they exist in the center of black holes.
Another question came up while reading your post...is Volume inversely proportional to density..???

#### gSal93

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##### What is Singularity?
« Reply #7 on: 22/12/2009 19:05:39 »
THANK YOU SO MUCH PEOPLE FOR REPLYING! I THINK I'VE QUITE UNDERSTOOD WHAT THE TERM MEANS..

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### What is Singularity?
« Reply #7 on: 22/12/2009 19:05:39 »