First Black Hole pictures

Recently scienctists have taken the first pictures of a black holes. Personally I am really into science and this kind of stuff is rally interesting to me. So for those of you that missed it here it is. You can asleep read more about it here

Feel free to share thoughts about it and if it is anything close to what you expected.
One of my friends said she expected better quality but when reminded that it is light years away from us she decided to cut the scientists some slack


I have been studying cosmology and general relativity (GR) for some years, I also find it fascinating.

Unfortunately GR is not intuitive, there’s no avoiding the math, solving the GR field equations.

If you really want to understand it all I recommend watching this video series, but you’ll have to be least a graduate in mathematics or physics to be able to understand it.

If that is too scary / difficult then this video may help explain it better.

While this next video is not accurate, it is simple and you should be understand it if you finished and passed highschool.


Omg thanks so much for the suggestions I’m currently going through a hard core quantum physics documentary phase but I will definitely watch those next

I also studied quantum mechanics, I feel its simpler than GR but its not intuitive.

Quantum Field Theory (QFT) which is a theory of matter being wave functions in the fields, of which the Higgs Field is one example which causes mass, does not yet include gravity. It attempts to with the graviton but that particle has never been detected and may be undetectable or not exist at all.

GR claims there is a space-time field which is bent in the presense of energy (and matter is just wave function as energy divided by square of speed of light) so there is no graviton.

LEt’s put this way, you can see the black hole as it casts a shadow, the Veritasium video explains why, but when say a gravity wave passes the earth, what is actually passing, what wave function, and so what particle?

The only reasonable attempt at combining GR with quantum mechanics was done by Hawking with the Hawking Radiation which predicts black holes evaporate away eventually if they stop feeding and far enough from radiation.

All fascinating stuff. You need to be at least a BSc in Physics to begin to really understand it.

A sister of Black Holes - the attractive force of Gravity is Inflation Theory which if you get far enough into it gets the repulsive force of Gravity - yes gravity can according to GR be repulsive - to explain the Bang part of the Big Bang, and also tallies with the Dark Energy and the very strange observation the Universe is flat - Euclidean Geometry - due to Omega being 1, which if you watch the Inflation theory videos explains it.

That inflation theory video series is also fascinating but I’m still stuck and not understand the 2nd to last of the video series as my maths is letting me down, the breaking of symmetry point is, still, over my head.

So this is why Black Holes, something we can study, and Gravity Waves we can study, can help prove / disprove theories which explain the origin of the universe, something we cannot study directly as it exists beyond the observable universe and behind the cosmic micowave background (CMB).

Well bear in mind algorithms were used to make a picture from a lot of data, so there is a degree of human interpretation within the image, so there is a small chance it is wrong but they put different teams on it and they came up with very similar photos so its probably correct.

If you’re in the UK, or know how to be :innocent: , then BBC has a documentary on the photo

I wonder if our species had suppressed superstitions and embraced the scientific method earlier how much more advanced we be now, basically modern physics only really started around 17th century after finally religion began its retreat of suppressing finding truth such as when they emprisoned Gallileo and executed anyone who would not accept religious dogma. Thankfully we live in more free world where truth comes more commonly from observation than some old book.

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In one of the new documentaries about Einstein and hawking talked about black holes evaporating but then was faced with the issue of what happens to the information of the light and other things that where lost in the black hole. Do they simply disappear and if they don’t what is left of them

Correct the information theory is information cannot be destroyed and as a black hole destroys information it violates the information theory. Hawking radiation means the information goes with the virtual particle which escapes the event horizon and takes the information to far away.

Alternative to Hawking Radiation is the hologram theory that as time stops at the event horizon, the information which falls into the black hole is still visible to us as a layer on the event horizon, so like a hologram.

My view is until we have observation these are just hypothesis. e.g. we took a photo of a black hole but have to take one of a black hole not feeding and see Hawking radiation. We will eventually, particularly if a black hole drifts near us on its way to the galactic core.

If black holes do not evaporate, you’d expect to see primordial black holes from the big bang when energy was high enough to form black holes, we don’t see them now, or they formed the seeds of the galactic cores and merged with each other.

All fascinating!

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You really are living up to your name as the professor right now.
Thanks you so much all of this stuff is so interesting and I love learning more and you definitely seem to know what you are talking about. If you haven’t already I strongly suggest watching the documentary released this year called “Einstein and Hawking: unlocking the Universe” it’s probably stuff you already know but I found it really interesting

Please bear in mind that Einstein has been proved wrong about some things, just like Einstein proved Newton wrong, as we get more knowledgeable and new information and better theories better explain reality. The most famous is EPR Paradox.

However, so far, over a century later, General Relatively has yet be be found to be wrong. But unification with Quantum Mechanics means it probably has something wrong about it, like Newton was wrong at high relative speed and Newton did not explain what is gravity.

Einstein took 5 years and needed a lot of help in geometry, tensors, to get to GR.

So I’d encourage not only giving due credit and learning of GR, but that there is still much more to learn and solve.

So far these are just the things we still have to solve:

  • adding gravity to quantum physics
  • explanation exactly how energy bends space-time, we have shown it does but not how it does it.
  • dark matter, we can observe its effects (rotating galaxies, gravitational lensing) and it does neatly help with the flatness problem of observing Euclidean space, and it perfectly matches the galaxies layout, but we cannot directly observe dark matter, and until we know exactly how energy bends space-time, we still stuck.
  • dark energy. While the cosmological constant of the “fudge” Einstein put on to make what he thought was a static universe (he predated Hubble showing expansion) in response to GR forcing expansion or contraction and not allowing static, does neatly fit dark energy, the exact method and what is dark energy is still not known, if we use quantum mechanics it comes up with a wildly wrong number of we calculate the energy of a vacuum.
  • so we’re still seeking a quantitized theory of gravity, one challenge is that some theories cannot be tested by observation, like string theory.

So if you add that up, we’re 97% wrong. But on the bright side, that’s still 3% better than the pre-scientific era in only about 400 years following religion losing its grip on suppressing finding truths. I know some scientists who have a hissy fit when I say we’re 97% wrong but I think wisdom through humility is better than confidence through gullibility. And… a scientist who disproves Einstein would be more famous than the scientist who is added to a long list of proving Einstein is correct.

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Thanks @professor @ktkundy for some great insights into physics :thumbsup:

Wow, that’s all I have to say as this intrigues me. I have no knowledge to add to this because I would be lost in trying to add insight, but I can learn and am learning from the videos and reading what y’all have posted.

Aside from this, what scares me is that while we have come a long way and are still learning a lot of this is going to be lost or forgotten about as more and more generation of kids do not like science or turn away from it as it’s too hard to understand and the mathematics involved is beyond their comprehension. Simply put, kids these days are stupid and don’t have a knack for learning or challenges of learning.

Pretty cool! I guess they’re not really black :joy::joy:

I share the same concerns but currently we see the opposite. The internet is causing more access to knowledge.

If you have children you’ll see the wish to play, make friends, and natural curiosity. If you feed them and keep them safe, some will become future scientists.

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Very True @professor, it is going in both directions. While some kids are going away from STEM courses, there are some kids really interested to learn and attracted to Science and Math.
My daughter is 6 year old now and she is reminding me the stuff I learnt in my high school and engineering subjects and forgotten about.
I am trying to feed her as much as I can from the youtube videos that are put in simple terms for these ages and some library books.

Not according to Soundgarden! They are black!

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I think the real problem is a lack of motivation. Kids these days don’t care about work, or anything even remotely “hard”. They’re parents aren’t helping either. Parents don’t make there kids do chores, and yet still give them “allowance”.

My parents made me do chores (they hardly did any themselves), and they never gave me allowance. They made me work for every penny I made.

Another big problem is that science textbooks nowadays are incredible boring. They just give fact after fact. The textbooks aren’t written in a way to Appeal to children. An adult can read a book on science and think it’s incredibke interesting, while a kid can read the same and find it boring. Even if the book was intended for children!

What did Buzz Aldrin Say when he got to the moon?
“I am Buzz Aldrin, Neil before me!”
It took great detail to get the telescopes from around the world to be pointed on the same direction. If I remember correctly this photo is of the black hole in another Galaxy and not the one in the center of our own. Since the stars at the center of our Galaxy move much faster, this is definitely history.

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woah this is so cool that you guys know all of this stuff. I dont really know much on the topic but it seems really cool

It is a timeless fact that older people think younger people are lazier and not as good as they were when young. There is little evidence any of it is true in general.

The main challenge the young have access to the opposite of 40 years ago, that they now have access to far more and current information, so anyone can learn faster, there is a planet’s knowledge on their smartphones/tablet/laptop. That is good. What is bad is most of the knowledge it gives is utterly crap.

But I don’t think the kids are worse, or weaker, or less intelligent, or anything like that.

Let’s put this way, I can watch at post-graduate level of knowledge, lectures, like from Leonard Susskind (near me at Stanford) or Alan Guth at MIT on the other side of the USA, or on say the results of Alain Aspect over in France, all from my laptop. It’s just there’s a few hundred cat photos to look at too.

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Far more than that :joy:. Back to my point though. I would say that looking at cat videos instead of doing school, or studying is lazy. I could do the same thing, but I just spent over an hour reading about the pyramids.

I would agree that they aren’t necessarily just purely lazy. There are far more distractions being created every year.

As I stated before. The textbook resources that are released today for kids, simply aren’t written in a way that interests kids. Which is completely understandable. That’s why I wish we had collaboration textbooks. Half written by an accomplished writer, and half written by a person who knows about the specific subject.

This method has proved itself to be a great learning instrument, while not being boring.

Distractions are being removed too.

The average age of having children is going up, so the distractions of child care is being delayed, freeing up time for science to be done from school into post-grad for more.

Women on average, are getting more freedom, and so the halving of the planet’s intelligence by locking women into breeders and cooking engines is not as bad as only a generation ago - to a degree this is due to the self determination of reproduction and the ongoing reduction of religion who grow primarily through breeding. Pick any country, say Iran. The number of female engineering graduates:

This shows women breeding less so more time for other things:

And literacy, which is the gateway to knowledge delivered by many books instead of being read out by 1 person.

Yes I agree there are risks, conflicting demands, but the general arrow is towards the better.

As to this Anker forum, guess what!

There’s a reason Anker is doing so well. I guess we all have to learn to speak Chinese :slight_smile: