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On Lowering a Rope into a Black Hole


Penrose1 and Bekenstein2 have considered the idea of slowly lowering a particle at the end of a rope into a black hole—or rather its ergosphere—and thereby letting the gravitational field do work on the apparatus at the upper end of the rope. In effect we have an excellent form of waste disposal which could in principle convert waste heat and material refuse into useful energy.


  1. 1

    Penrose, R., Rivista Nuovo Cim., 1, Numero Speciale, 252 (1969).

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  2. 2

    Bekenstein, J. D., Lett. Nuovo Cim., 4, 737 (1972).

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  3. 3

    Hawking, S. W., and Penrose, R., Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 314, 529 (1970).

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    Hawking, S. W., Commun. Math. Phys., 18, 301 (1970).

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GIBBONS, G. On Lowering a Rope into a Black Hole. Nature Physical Science 240, 77 (1972).

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