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black holes

Craig Callender holding a paddleboard at the beach.
Q&A

Are We All Wrong About Black Holes?

September 5, 2019

Since the 1970s, physicists have described black holes using borrowed versions of the laws of thermodynamics. But are black holes really thermodynamic systems? Craig Callender worries that the analogy has been stretched too far.

An illustration of an extra-large black hole.
Abstractions blog

Possible Detection of a Black Hole So Big It ‘Should Not Exist’

August 28, 2019

At stake are fundamental ideas about how black holes form — and a six-way bet.

Illustration of three black holes on a starry background
Abstractions blog

To Make Two Black Holes Collide, Try Three

August 15, 2019

How do black holes merge and make gravitational waves? Maybe with a little help from their friends.

Artists impression of AGN driven outflows from a dwarf galaxy
Abstractions blog

Big Black Holes Found in the Smallest Galaxies

July 23, 2019

Tiny, dim “dwarf” galaxies have been found to hide gas-spewing black holes.

Abstractions blog

Philosophers Debate New ‘Sonic Black Hole’ Discovery

June 25, 2019

Opinions differ about what recent measurements of a sound-trapping fluid reveal about light-trapping black holes.

Art for "What the Sight of a Black Hole Means to a Black Hole Physicist"
Quantized Columns

What the Sight of a Black Hole Means to a Black Hole Physicist

April 10, 2019

The astrophysicist Janna Levin reflects on the newly unveiled, first-ever photograph of a black hole.

Photo of Priya Natarajan
Q&A

An Astrophysicist Who Maps the Universe’s Terra Incognita

February 4, 2019

Priyamvada Natarajan has pioneered the mapping and modeling of the universe’s invisible contents, especially dark matter and supermassive black holes.

Quantized Columns

The Double Life of Black Holes

January 29, 2019

Perfect black holes are versatile mathematical tools. Just don’t mistake them for the real thing.

Art for "How Space and Time Could Be a Quantum Error-Correcting Code"
space-time

How Space and Time Could Be a Quantum Error-Correcting Code

January 3, 2019

The same codes needed to thwart errors in quantum computers may also give the fabric of space-time its intrinsic robustness.