The fifth and last lecture in the 2012-2013 Institute of Physics (IOP) Edinburgh lecture series.
Black holes, the remnants of stars that have collapsed under the effect of their own weight, provide an important tool for probing and testing the fundamental laws that govern our Universe. However, this probing and testing usually involves theoretical models, equations, computer simulations. Actual experiments seem to be well without reach as we may only passively observe from far away the black holes that lie at the centre of distant galaxies. We have no way to interact directly with them. But wouldn't it be marvellous if we could maybe at some level, actually hope to directly interact with these mysterious objects?
Einstein taught us how the laws of gravity and of black holes too, are governed by geometry. The geometries we need to deal with, at first sight appear to be strange, mind bending mixtures of space and time. And here lies the surprise: these curved and wonderful geometries can be found in rather commonplace situations such as in the patterns formed by water flowing out of the tap into your bathtub or in a flowing river. They may also be found in more "sciency" situations that require the use of high power lasers.
Black holes, white holes, rotating black holes - these are just some of the objects we can now recreate and study in controlled laboratory conditions, thus opening a fascinating window to the most extreme events in the Universe.
Refreshments will be served from 6.45pm to 7:15pm. From 7:15pm to 7:30pm there will be a short talk from one of the IOP Scotland committee members.
This talk is free and open to non-members.
Enquiries: contact R.R.Thomson [at] hw.ac.uk (Robert R. Thomson).