Big Bangs and black holes
Professor Carole Mundell will discuss black holes and the nature of space-time itself.
Over 200 years ago, ‘black holes’ remained an esoteric idea. Today, their existence has been confirmed experimentally, but the study of their origin and impact on their surroundings remain at the forefront of modern astronomy.
Unable to travel to black holes, astronomers instead use the information encoded in light produced close to the black hole as a probe of their physical properties. Visible light to which our human eyes are most sensitive has enriched culture for thousands of years. However, this represents only a small fraction of the total light available for collection; recent technological advances have allowed astronomers to harvest light from across the electromagnetic spectrum and - with the first detection of gravitational waves from merging black holes – probe the nature of space-time itself.