AstroTalk Episode April 28, 2016

Black Holes from Kip Thorne's Book Part II

3:00pm - 3:54pm

In this episode, World War II impacts the study of black holes. The efforts of top scientists are devoted to the war effort, as they are busy developing weapons, and more specifically, nuclear weapons, both in the West and in the Soviet Union. An arms race takes place, where scientists on both side develop the atomic bomb, and then the hydrogen bomb. These scientists do not realize at the time that the theories they use and then apply in the development of nuclear bombs can then easily be applied to the study of the processes of what goes on inside stars, both during their lifetime, and at their death. The knowledge that physicists gained and developed in making the bomb are then transferred to the study of stars, after these scientists return to their laboratories and universities at war's end. There is no unanimity amongst scientists on singularities, or even if black holes can form, so its takes Roger Penrose, and his insertion of the mathematics of Topology into the discussion, before am acceptable theory on black hole and singularity development can be formulated.