Observing Black Holes

Thursday January 21, 2016 2:00 pm

Observing Black Holes
Dr. Victoria Grinberg, Postdoctoral Associate, MIT Kavli Institute

presentation 2:00-2:30pm, followed by 10 minute Q&A

Black holes are perhaps the most mind-boggling objects ever conceived by physicists and there is hardly any science fiction series today that will not feature them in some capacity. However, black holes are also very much observable and one of the major topics of today’s X-ray astronomy.

In this talk I will give a very short overview of what black holes are, where we find astrophysical black holes, why we need X-ray astronomy and thus satellite-based telescopes such as Chandra to observe black holes, and¬† how observations of both, supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies and the “small” black holes of only a few solar masses in binary star systems, improve our understanding of the physics of our universe.