How physics breaks down in a black hole

One of the most cherished laws of physics—the conservation of charge—has come under fire in "startling" research by physicists.

Cosmic ray influences on star formation in galaxies

The triggering of star formation, and also its quenching, is regulated by young massive stars in galaxies which inject energy and momentum into the interstellar medium. Feedback from the supermassive black holes at galaxies' ...

Space scientists solve a decades-long gamma-ray burst puzzle

An international team of scientists, led by astrophysicists from the University of Bath in the UK, has measured the magnetic field in a far-off Gamma-Ray Burst, confirming for the first time a decades-long theoretical prediction—that ...

Black holes help with star birth

Research combining systematic observations with cosmological simulations has found that, surprisingly, black holes can help certain galaxies form new stars. On scales of galaxies, the role of supermassive black holes for ...

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Black hole

In general relativity, a black hole is a region of space in which the gravitational field is so powerful that nothing, including light, can escape its pull. The black hole has a one-way surface, called an event horizon, into which objects can fall, but out of which nothing can come. It is called "black" because it absorbs all the light that hits it, reflecting nothing, just like a perfect blackbody in thermodynamics. Quantum analysis of black holes shows them to possess a temperature and Hawking radiation.

Despite its invisible interior, a black hole can reveal its presence through interaction with other matter. A black hole can be inferred by tracking the movement of a group of stars that orbit a region in space which looks empty. Alternatively, one can see gas falling into a relatively small black hole, from a companion star. This gas spirals inward, heating up to very high temperature and emitting large amounts of radiation that can be detected from earthbound and earth-orbiting telescopes. Such observations have resulted in the scientific consensus that, barring a breakdown in our understanding of nature, black holes do exist in our universe.

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