Einstein presented his theory of relativity in 1916, but for an entire century nobody could find physical proof of black holes. In 2016, scientists finally detected gravitational waves that emitted from 2 black holes colliding, proving that such things not only exist, but that Einstein was right all along. Source
One of the biggest mysteries in modern physics may have just been solved. The scientific community is abuzz with rumors that
physicists have finally detected gravitational waves, fluctuations in
the curvature of space-time that move at the speed of light throughout
the galaxy. Noted physicist Albert Einstein first predicted them in
1916, theorizing they might explain how mass affects the very fabric of
space-time. The discovery of the gravitational waves would be one of the biggest discoveries in physics in history
No one knew exactly what a black hole would look like until they actually built one. Light, temporarily trapped around the black hole, produced an unexpectedly complex fingerprint pattern near the black hole’s shadow. And the glowing accretion disk appeared above the black hole, below the black hole, and in front of it. “I never expected that,” Thorne says. “Eugénie just did the simulations and said, ‘Hey, this is what I got.’ It was just amazing.”
In the end, Nolan got elegant images that advance the story. Thorne got a movie that teaches a mass audience some real, accurate science. But he also got something he didn’t expect: a scientific discovery.
MORE: Wrinkles in Spacetime: The Warped Astrophysics of Interstellar
The largest ever discovery of water is a massive reservoir that’s floating around a black hole 10 billion light-years away. The water is 140 trillion times the mass of Earth’s oceans and is older than the formation of most of the stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
One hundred years after Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, they have been detected directly.
In a highly anticipated announcement, physicists with LIGO revealed today, on 11 February, that their twin detectors have heard the gravitational ‘ringing’ produced by the collision of two black holes about 1.3 billion light-years from Earth.
This means we now have a new tool for studying the Universe. For example, waves from the Big Bang would tell us a little more about how the universe formed.
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Image credit: Nik Spencer/Nature
Physicist Jeff Steinhauer used a cloud of super-cold atoms to create what’s called an analogue black hole in a lab. Speeding up a cloud of super-cold atoms can simulate the conditions around the event horizon of a black hole. What’s more, his test may have just proved a 42-year-old Stephen Hawking theory.
They’re very dark, sure, but they aren’t black. They glow, slightly, giving off light across the whole spectrum, including visible light.
This radiation is called “Hawking radiation”, after the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University Stephen Hawking, who first proposed its existence. Because they are constantly giving this off, and therefore losing mass, black holes will eventually evaporate altogether if they don’t have another source of mass to sustain them; for example interstellar gas or light. (Source)
Feeding black holes develop a fractal skin as they grow. That’s the conclusion of simulations that take advantage of a correlation between fluid dynamics and gravity.
“We showed that when you throw stuff into a black hole, the surface of the black hole responds like a fluid – and in particular, it can become turbulent,” says Allan Adams at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “More precisely, the horizon itself becomes a fractal.”
Fractals are mathematical sets that show self-similar patterns: zoom in on one part of a fractal drawing, like the famous Mandelbrot set, and the smaller portion will look nearly the same as the original image. Objects with fractal geometries show up all over nature, from clouds to the coast of England.
Adams and his colleagues have now found evidence that fractal behaviour occurs in an unexpected place: on the surface of a feeding black hole. Black holes grow by devouring matter that falls into them; the black hole at the centre of our galaxy is due to feast on a gas cloud later this year. But the details of how feeding black holes grow, and how this might affect their host galaxies, are still unknown.