(Submitted September 30, 1996)
We are a research team interested in using black holes as a source of power.
If you could send us any info on this subject it would be greatly
Black holes are like 40 ton gorillas, they sit wherever they want to. And
that will be a major problem with using them as a source of power. How do
you get one to where you can use it, and how would you keep it there once
you have it. Black holes are sources of extreme amounts of energy and are
responsible for some of the most luminous objects in our Universe (AGN, etc.)
as well as some pretty hefty beasts in our own Galaxy. If you haven't already,
you can read about
them in Imagine the Universe! The article on
black holes also suggests several books to read on the subject.
While most of what has been written about deriving useful energy from
black holes is in science fiction, here are a few good references.
One way of extracting energy from a black hole is known as the Penrose
process. The energy comes from reducing the angular momentum of a
black hole (or any massive body). A popular-level description is given
in Nigel Calder's "Einstein's Universe" in the
"Ultimate Waterfall" chapter
and a graduate-level description is given in Bernard Schutz' "A First
Relativity", pg 304-305. The Hawking process also
results in a "free" energy source since the black hole is
"evaporating" quantum mechanically, with photons carrying away
energy (also discussed in Schutz' book).