"How to find a Black Hole"

Andrew Buckland

At very short notice Ms Chiara Mingarelli (University of Birmingham) stepped in for Dr Somak Raychaudhury to present this talk.

In an extremely entertaining and informative lecture Ms Mingarelli started off by explaining the terms of escape velocity, how it can be applied to different sized objects and how the term Black hole came into use.
e.g. if the mass of the Earth was squashed into a sphere 2cm in diameter it would form a black hole.

The talk went on to cover popular misconceptions about Black holes, the ways that they can form and how we can detect the massive Black hole at the centre of our galaxy - which we know must be there since stars have been tracked orbiting "nothing".

The audience was then informed that there are two good ways of finding a Black hole. Either using gravity wave detectors such as LIGO or by detecting the X-ray signature caused by the heating of material as it falls into the Black hole to form jets.

To sum up, Black holes can be felt but not seen. They are the ultimate victory of gravity over all other forces.