Could you escape from a black hole if you were able to go faster than the speed of light? (Intermediate)

If my spaceship is caught in a black hole, can it escape from a black hole if it's able to go faster than the speed of light? I know ftl travel is still just science fiction but I'd still like to know.

Even if you were somehow able to break the laws of physics and travel faster than the speed of light, you still couldn't get out of a black hole. The space within black holes is curved in on itself, and so there is no direction you can travel in to get out of the black hole.

This is related to the fallacy that the reason why you can't escape from black holes is because they have an escape velocity that's equal to the speed of light. It's true that the escape velocity for a black hole is the speed of light. But if you have something like a spaceship that can provide its own acceleration, you never have to actually move at the escape velocity in order to escape. The real reason why it's impossible to escape is because the space inside a black hole is curved in on itself.

This page was last updated June 27, 2015.

About the Author

Christopher Springob

Christopher Springob

Chris studies the large scale structure of the universe using the peculiar velocities of galaxies.  He got his PhD from Cornell in 2005, and is now a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Western Australia.

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