Black holes exert ‘quantum pressure’ on their environment

Black holes aren’t as single-minded as we thought. It turns out their quantum behaviour adds a new, recalcitrant dimension to their monstrous character. In a first-of-its-kind discovery, UK physicists have found that black holes exert quantum pressure on their environment. We know black holes are voracious cosmic monsters that operate at nature’s very extremes. They … Continue reading Black holes exert ‘quantum pressure’ on their environment

Explainer: What is gravity?

We barely think about it, but gravity defines how we interact with our world. We grow up within its constraints, and our muscles, balance system, heart and blood vessels all depend on it. It literally grounds us — but what exactly is gravity? Gravity: a primer Gravity is one of the four fundamental forces that … Continue reading Explainer: What is gravity?

Georges Lemaître comes in with a bang

In 1927, Catholic priest Georges Lemaître published a paper in the Annales de la Societe scientifique de Bruxelles in which he reviewed the General Theory of Relativity, published by Albert Einstein in 1916, and found that not only was the Universe expanding, but that it had originated at a finite point in time. Few people … Continue reading Georges Lemaître comes in with a bang

Star dance around a black hole

After nearly three decades of work, scientists have revealed that a star orbiting the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way moves as predicted by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.  They say observations made with ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) show that its orbit is shaped like a rosette, not like an ellipse … Continue reading Star dance around a black hole