Is there anything left to tell about black holes?
07-01-2015 THE CAB IN THE MEDIA (

There has been talk and written so much about black holes that, perhaps, you might think it's difficult to tell something new and interesting. However, there are reasons to say without hesitation that there is still much to be said about them.

Black holes are still mysterious objects. According to the equations of Einstein's theory of general relativity (enunciated about a hundred years ago), the entire mass of a black hole is contained in an infinitely small area, it does not occupy space at all. It is something so strange that from its prediction, and even today, continues to challenge the brightest minds. Einstein himself claimed that, although the theory predicted its existence, there could be no such exotic objects in the real world. Today everything seems to indicate that they exist. Moreover, they are common in the universe.

We have two successful theories when applied separately. One of them is the Einstein theory that I just mentioned. It gives a sublime account of the way in which gravity influences the movement of planets, stars and galaxies. It describes the world of enormous distances and gigantic masses. But it does not explain, on the other hand, the world in the smallest scales, that of the atoms and particles that form them, that in which the masses are tiny and the insignificant gravity. For this we have a different and also wonderful theory: quantum mechanics, which describes how nature works at the most fundamental level. In turn, it can not explain gravity, which works on scales of space and much larger masses. Both theories, therefore, provide partial views of reality.





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