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Contributed by Jill Ackerman on 01/26/2014
Please join us for a talk with Frans Pretorius, Department of Physics, Princeton University, Entitled: Black Holes and Fundamental Physics
Black holes are perhaps the most remarkable prediction of Einstein's theory of general relativity. They are one-way membranes in the fabric of space and time, hiding singularities that exert infinitely strong tidal forces. I will begin by giving a brief history of the development of our theoretical understanding of black holes, and the astronomical discoveries that lead to the realization that they likely exist in the universe and play an important role in many astrophysical processes. As if this were not enough, over the past few years theoretical advances inspired by string theory are suggesting that general relativity, and in particular black holes "know" much more about fundamental physics that just gravity. This includes connections between black holes and thermodynamics, hydrodynamics and even quantum field theory. I will give a few of examples of this. I do not know whether there are deeper physical or philosophical reasons for these connections, though these examples hint that black holes could be become a cornerstone of 21st century physics.
Tuesday, January 28th, *CNS 112* @ 12:10 p.m.
Pizza and refreshments provided for $1. Please bring your own cup. Remember to reuse, reduce, recycle.
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