The 19th Hintze Lecture: Professor Heino Falcke

Date: 
14 Nov 2019 - 5:30pm
Venue: 
Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU
Room: 
Martin Wood Lecture Theatre
Audience: 
General public (Age 14+)


The First Image of a Black Hole


Thursday 14 November 2019 at 17:30 (to be seated by 17:20)

Abstract: One of the most bizarre, but perhaps also most fundamental predictions of Einstein’s theory of general relativity are black holes. They are extreme concentrations of matter with a gravitational attraction so strong, that not even light can escape. The inside of black holes is shielded from observations by an event horizon, a virtual one-way membrane through which matter, light and information can enter but never leave. This loss of information, however, contradicts some basic tenets of quantum physics. Does such an event horizon really exist? What are its effects on the ambient light and surrounding matter? How does a black hole really look? Can one see it? Indeed, recently we have made the first image of a black hole and detected its dark shadow in the radio galaxy M87 with the global Event Horizon Telescope experiment. Detailed supercomputer simulations faithfully reproduce these observations. Simulations and observations together provide strong support for the notion that we are literally looking into the abyss of the event horizon of a supermassive black hole. The talk will review the latest results of the Event Horizon Telescope, its scientific implications and future expansions of the array

The lecture will be followed by a reception in the foyer of the Martin Wood Lecture Theatre. There is no need to register for this event.

The Hintze Lectures highlight contemporary developments in Astrophysics and Cosmology. They are run by the Oxford Hintze Centre for Astrophysical Surveys.

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