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More than one hundred years ago, Albert Einstein published his Theory of General Relativity (GR). One year later, Karl Schwarzschild solved the GR equations for a non-rotating, spherical mass distribution; if this mass is sufficiently compact, even light cannot escape from within the so-called event horizon, and there is a mass singularity at the center. The theoretical concept of a 'black hole' was born, and was refined in the next decades by work of Penrose, Wheeler, Kerr, Hawking and many others. First indirect evidence for the existence of such black holes in our Universe came from observations of compact X-ray binaries and distant luminous quasars. I will discuss the forty-year journey, which my colleagues and I have been undertaking to study the mass distribution in the Center of our Milky Way from ever more precise, long-term studies of the motions of gas and stars as test particles of the space time. These studies show the existence of a four million solar mass object, which must be a single massive black hole, beyond any reasonable doubt.
Even date: 9/2/2023
Speaker: Prof. Reinhard GENZEL
Hosted by: PolyU Academy for Interdisciplinary Research
- Physics and Cosmology and Astronomy
- Nobel Prize winners Astrophysics Astronomy Deep space -- Milky Way Black holes (Astronomy) General relativity (Physics)
- Resource Type:
Interested in exploring the deadliest and most mysterious parts of our universe? Or, investigating black holes, which warp the very fabric of space-time around them? We will look at what we know about these objects, and also at the many unsolved mysteries that surround them. We will also study white-dwarf stars and neutron stars, where the mind-bending laws of quantum mechanics collide with relativity. And, examine dwarf novae, classical novae, supernovae and even hypernovae: the most violent explosions in the cosmos. This course is designed for people who would like to get a deeper understanding of astronomy than that offered by popular science articles and television shows.You will need reasonable high-school level Maths and Physics to get the most out of this course.
- Course related:
- AP1D02 Introduction to Astronomy
- Environmental Sciences
- Black holes (Astronomy) Astrophysics Collisions (Astrophysics)
- Resource Type: