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Do you know your celestial body from your quasar? Fear not. We are here to provide your guide to the galaxy and explain how we can study things that are so far away. Come with us as we dive through a black hole and unlock some secrets of the universe along the way.
Just how heavy are the heaviest black holes?
William Martin (PhD student in the astrophysics research group at Imperial College London)
How might we guess people's weights by seeing only their socks? And can we apply this method to black holes? There’s thought to be a supermassive black hole in the centre of every galaxy, but, as we can't directly see them, they can prove somewhat difficult to weigh. By examining the stars and gas around black holes, however, we can make educated guesses as to just how heavy they might be. Along the way, we’ll talk about how astronomers make the best of measuring what we can, and come to the central question: are we weighing black holes wrong?
Extreme lasers for extreme physics
Compared to some places in the Universe, the Earth is a pretty boring place: it's pretty cold, not very dense and the magnetic fields around us are pretty weak. Scientists are pretty good at understanding how matter behaves on Earth, but we don't really understand how stuff behaves when it's under the extreme conditions found in stars, quasars and near black holes. In my research, we use the World's most powerful lasers to create and study the very high temperatures, densities and electromagnetic fields usually only found in astrophysics here in the lab on Earth.
Other Hoop and Toy events
2022-05-10 Scanning the rainbow of life: from atoms to galaxies Hoop and Toy 34 Thurloe Place, London, SW7 2HQ, United Kingdom
Scanning the rainbow of life: from atoms to galaxi...
2022-05-11 Exploring Chemical Space: How we design new drugs and materials Hoop and Toy 34 Thurloe Place, London, SW7 2HQ, United Kingdom