Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cafe Scientifique

This is an organization that presents lecturers on varied topics, open to the public, and frequently held at drinking establishments. Tonight's lecture was

Gravity's Fatal Attraction: How Black Holes Rule the Universe
As the Universe evolves, could it be the ultimate fate of all matter to be "swallowed" by black holes?Mitch Begelman, Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, JILA Fellow, University of Colorado, Boulder.

The problem with lecturing on the topic of black holes, is that there is really very little that can actually be known about them as such. Mass and spin are about it. The interesting stuff comes when you consider what goes on just outside one of them.

Having taken college physics myself, a lot of the lecture was a bit old hat, still there was some new stuff discussed. The packed house seemed to be quite enthralled however, so don't mind me. I was just a bit disappointed that the Dr. didn't bring one along to demonstrate with.

1 comment:

Brad K. said...

"didn't bring one along"

For some reason, that brings to mind the admonition to "put *that* in your pipe and smoke it" as a visual image.

Putting a black hole in one's pipe - if one were allowed to smoke a pipe at such a gathering - would likely be but one "tricky" part of the exercise. This would likely be a lot more fun to image than to (shudder) accomplish.

Unless the black hole was very small.

But then you could contemplate, or even toy with, using black holes for transportation motive energy, or direct energy applications. Like air conditioning.