No escape: Simulations of black holes colliding are amazing

30 Jul 2016

Scientists simulate what it’s like when black holes collide.

Black holes are not science-fiction. They are in fact very real and nothing can escape them.

A black hole is a region of space-time that has such strong gravitational effects that nothing – be they particles or electromagnetic radiation like light – can escape.

The region of no escape is called the event horizon, and the black body of a black hole reflects no light.

Black holes of stellar mass are believed to form when massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle.

The idea of black holes was first considered in the 18th century by John Michell and Pierre-Simon Laplace.

On 11 February, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration announced the first observation of gravitational waves generated from a black hole merger. On 15 June 2016, a second detection of a gravitational wave event from colliding black holes was announced.

Website Simulating Extreme Spacetimes (SXS) is a treasure trove of simulations of what it’s like when black holes collide.


Black hole image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years