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How did their spaceship escape the black hole Gargantua?

marked as duplicate by Möoz, Jason Baker, Often Right, Null, The Fallen May 11 '15 at 0:56

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    I cant recall the exact quotes, but it was stated in the movie that the black hole they encountered is speicial, altered by "them" to be accessible and allows them to leave. it is kind of weaker. – yondaime008 May 10 '15 at 20:42
  • @Richard Yup, dupe... – Möoz May 10 '15 at 22:54
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    In this lecture by Stephen Hawking; he says "But that was impossible, because as everyone knew, nothing could get out of a black hole. Or so it was thought, but I discovered that particles can leak out of a black hole. The reason is, that on a very small scale, things are a bit fuzzy." – Möoz May 10 '15 at 22:58
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There were several plot holes in Interstellar but this wasn't one of them.

The Endurance never entered the black hole named Gargantua. The dialog did include several clarifying bits including:

the course goes inside the critical orbit.

If I remember my terminology correctly, the critical orbit is the distance from the black hole at which there ceases to be a stable orbit. If you try to orbit inside this distance, you'll begin spiraling into the black hole. However, you can plot a hyperbolic/parabolic trajectory that takes you inside this orbit but outside the event horizon. Such a trajectory provide a tremendous ability to select nearly any outgoing direction the navigator chooses.

and we're at our closest approach.

This just indicates they reached the minimum distance from the black hole. To maximize the benefit of the Oberth Effect this is the point you want to maximize your thrust - it is also what they showed in the movie.

The plot holes stem from TARS and Cooper escaping Gargantua (a 10,000,000,000x solar mass black hole). However, "they" (they beings who built the time tesseract) know how to manipulate the gravitational constant of the Universe.

Being able to escape from a black hole violates what we know of physics but our physics assumes fundamental constants of the Universe are constant. If they change and we can manipulate them, then we could (theoretically) do things like travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum and escape from black hole event horizons. With the introduction of a (so far unobserved) form of matter called negative matter, we'd even be able to theoretically make wormholes too.

  • They definitely crossed the event horizon, it was a major plot point that they got the "quantum data" from one of the black hole's singularities, and Kip Thorne says in The Science of Interstellar that the singularity is where the tesseract picked them up and took them on a trip into higher-dimensional space (since the neighborhood of the singularity is where general relativity is thought to become inaccurate and quantum gravity important, I think Thorne plotted it this way so that he could appeal to not-as-yet understood quantum gravity effects to explain the escape). – Hypnosifl May 11 '15 at 1:52
  • (cont) Also, the published screenplay includes this descriptive section: "Ranger 2 shudders with exponentially rising gravitational energy as it crosses the horizon - plunging towards the singularity". – Hypnosifl May 11 '15 at 1:56
  • I agree Ranger 2 crosses but Endurance does not. Only Cooper and TARS come back. Presumably aliens able to change G, weakened gravity, and moved them out. If you can play with the value of G, you can get things out of a black hole without violating our physics. We only say it's impossible because we can't change G. – Jim2B May 11 '15 at 4:19
  • Oh, gotcha, I thought the original question was talking about Cooper in Ranger 2, but it is ambiguous, and I agree Endurance stayed outside the horizon. – Hypnosifl May 11 '15 at 12:42
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    @JohnP: or possibly magic is plot necessity we can't explain yet. – Steve Jessop Sep 25 '15 at 20:01

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