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String physics isn't only cosmology; it's also nuclear physics which is where this prediction emerged. Considering that the Hindu religion has outlived the culture that initiated it, going so far back into pre-history, and is still alive, active and doing well today means that the Hindu religion, as it is, is not at all a failed philosophy: if it was, it would have no adherents and would not have lasted this long, so it Must have a logical, solid core to it somewhere.

I am not Hindi, so I could not tell you what that is, but they do have the basic idea through their lives that all of this has happened before; that they have seen flying machines before, wrote about them, described nuclear war in their writings. And their civilization fell, but they kept the base culture alive in word, at least. Doing better than Christianity with it's thousands of factions that do not agree on much that has only been around for less than 2k yrs, or Islam at yrs. Remember, we came up from wood and steel tech to today's tech in less than years.

Position is three coordinates, x,y,z, Hey, old man schneibo, maybe you can find an Immutable Law of Physics that explains how a finite stellar mass can have a force of infinite gravity at it's surface, or it's center? How about you proving your claims that gravity is not mass dependent?

Benni Nobody edited your comments. You are just embarrassed by your comments and are trying to distance yourself from them. The stupid is there and unmodified for the world to see. I would normally feel bad for someone like you. It's OK to not understand things. There is no shame in not understanding something.

What is not OK is to come into this forum and pollute it with nonsense and instead of admitting you are wrong you accuse others of changing your posts and flat out lie about what others have posted. How do you describe the motion of even a single particle without using a fourth t coordinate, x,y,z,t, mr. Maybe you'd like to impress us with another sampling of that kind of gibberish again?

Benni It's clear you are the troll and I am the one enabling you because I keep responding to you. The assumption is that the matter is already there. Captain Stumpy. Beethoven why must you guys always feed the trolls and loons on these discussions? You do realize by the very definition of gravity its between multiple bodies you idiot. If it were a single body there would be no gravity. You're under serious delusions. Why do I participate?

An additional rational for permitting the looms this stage to prance upon? It keeps the creatures off the vReal Science forums, where they would interrupt researchers with a constant cacophony of raving nonsense. Perhaps phys. Oh, Yeah! Was it as good for you nemni? As it was for me? My stable of woobois get restive when I am slow to apply the discipline. Whydening Gyre. Except that their intersection point is ALSO a coordinate embedded in a larger 3 coordinate vector system The "math" just a way of showing that The embedded "thing" still has an x,y,z, position.

NOt actually arguing that By putting that "thing" in another vector array, you cube their "position" availability That's the thing with "gyres" If it ain't Popper falsifiable then it ain't science 'God is dead' - popper -But he can't prove it because uh hes also dead. Somehow we got our wires crossed. Maybe it was my fault. OK, here's the problem with it: gravity blue-shifts. It doesn't red-shift. A photon falling down a gravity well appears to observers inside the gravity well to be blue-shifted.

However, your idea is indeed being investigated; there are several astrophysicists looking into ideas at least superficially like yours, but much more complex. I'll try to come up with some examples for you to review so you can say whether any of them fits yours. Without time there is no "when" and nothing could happen. There's some logic for ya. To get a little more complicated, velocity is the first derivative of position with respect to time, and acceleration is the second derivative.

Pretending there's no time in that equation is ridiculous; it's there twice. These guys need to do more lab work. Speculating on math is fantasy.

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No one discovered something after they understood how it worked. It goes the other way. You discover it, then understanding follows. Go take another bong hit. Reply from Protoplasmix: How do you describe the motion of even a single particle without using a fourth t coordinate, x,y,z,t,.. That's all the universe is about Now it wants us to believe that time is imaginary when nothing can happen without time. If there is no time then why do things change over time? More silliness from this idiot, in support of its arrogance.

Maybe you should have another bong hit too, LiarRC. Juz a rule, description, premise, dunno, I see the "conversatio-nal" set of nonsense filtering into fuzzy sets which eventually yields Formal Logic when reduced to.. No I'm defining what may best be dismissed at the moment. These we use to determine the size of the straight jacket. Were you born an insensible asshole, DS; or are you a 'self made ass'. Anyhow, you have the horse before the cart, DS. DS, try to read and understand in context. If not, then it's "back to the drawing board". The "Reality" should be followed by a proper math equation that gives Reality a stepped up expression.

But instead and most often, it is the math equation that is formulated first to prove the Reality, and when it doesn't, the equations are changed to whatever fits best to prove that it conforms best to the Reality itself. RealityCheck Your assertion that Time itself whatever Time is is not needed in equations other than the measurement of the Duration of one or more Events from the standpoint of a timepiece, such as the measurement of the Duration of how much Time it takes to travel; to run; to walk; to eat supper, etc.

TIME had been improperly included into Einstein's equations when only Space would have been sufficient - since it is Space that is reactive with all Mass, gravity, and EM. Space has abilities that transcends distance and duration. I tried being polite with you, LiarRC. It didn't work out well and I told you at the time that was a mistake. Do you believe me now? Or do I have to press the point home further? That number could get a lot larger than Gravity can't act if there's no time. For that matter neither can any force.

Maybe you forgot. Velocity is the first derivative of position with respect to time. This is fact. It's not a "mathumetical ecuation thery by teh siensetis. So much for the latest from the psychotic who thinks there's telepathic alien lizards in the guvmint and robot rape machines in the bushes. I have also begun to notice that the passage of "time" is just an illusion our brain creates for us. Instead of time passing it could be that all things are happening in one all present "now", and rather, what we are measuring is just changes in entropy of things.

Consider a mechanical spring loaded clock. What changes the positions of the hands is a change in energy from the spring to the gear movements, all within a change in entropy of the whole clock. A passage of "time" is not required to change the hands of the clock. Consider what happens in a greater gravity field. It can be difficult to describe these things without talking about the passage of time since our brains are configured to display it that way to us. Dec 30, Bwahaha, arc doesn't think time is required for entropy.

The passage of time is but a concept instilled into our brains when the only way to observe that passage was by the Sun and Moon's movements as daylight to nightfall when we would then go to sleep and wake at the new day. It's a great method. But then, as humans became mathematically inclined, there was an influence to give that passage of Time a place in equations as "Spacetime" to try to EXPLAIN that which was unexplainable for so long.

When scientists use Time in an equation as a part of Space, the math equation is relating to an unquantified, undefinable and incomprehensible "thing" that is not even an object, but STILL only a concept which really is meaningless, except as "flow". Describe the 2LOT without time. For that matter try the 1LOT. Good luck. This is lunacy. We know that the Flow of Time is continuous going forward.

There would be repercussions that are unimaginable if such a thing were possible. The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system can never decrease over time. Looks like your college edumacation included Advanced Underwater Basket Weaving, Meating Management inciting confusion to cover your azz , Master Bation of Bidness milking it for all it's worth , and Advanced Addition.

My wife is still chuckling over you trying to formulate thermodynamics without time, and she's a molecular biology major. How do you describe the motion of even a single particle without using a fourth t coordinate, x,y,z,t,.. Time is the parametric dependent variable. That's meaningless. In fact, acceleration is dependent upon time, not the other way around. This is why programmers with no formal education should stay out of physics. Nothing they do is based on reality.

You got a bug This stuff is hilarious. Totally classic. A coder who doesn't know any computer science and a business administration candidate from Trump University who thinks telepathic alien lizards are running the gummint. You can't make this stuff up. What's next, we gonna get a sociologist or a political science major up in here to talk about physics?

Maybe a lawyer. Or a barber. After all, we already got a janitor. Hmmm - 2 lesbians got together - one being a janitor. The question now is: who is the janitor - DaScheide or her wife? The risks of being a n00b. Hmmmm this gets better. So there's Da Scheide and her wife, Da Scheiss. Da Pussy1 and Da Pussy2 Excellent lesbian couple here in physorg. Not that there's anything wrong with lesbians like Da Scheide and Da Scheiss.

So, how come you have all these fantasies about gay people? How's that work out with the whole alien telepathic lizard thing? Not to mention the rape machines. Just askin'. No fantasy there. You are a self-admitted lesbian married to a lesbian. Are you gay also besides being lesbian? Now which one is the janitor - you or the other lesbian?

Looks like a fantasy to me. Looks like you're making stuff up. That make you hard? Especially since you're a n00b and don't know who the janitor is. How's that class in Advanced Addition working out for you? How many alien lizards are you seeing? You've been talking with them? Your wife is a rape machine? I don't see any alien lizards. You're the one with the alien lizards. I just keep bringing it up at inconvenient times and you keep lying about your own words. Do you repudiate your words?

Best get used to seeing that link and quote a lot. AND you're a physorg Moderator too? Well, why not? Is your lesbian wife here in physorg too? Just one big happy family, eh? Time off from her job as a janitor? Does she get to clean toilets like you do? Not me. I've never seen alien lizards or machines that rape.

Those are YOUR fantasies.

Fabric of the Cosmos - Part 1 - What is Space

Them's YOUR words. Now you're lying about it and won't face up to what you said. Simple as that. Next come the nice large men in white suits when you get violent. What's your "Unit? Do the doctors know you're posting here? Nothing about lizards in your link either. Ok you're done here. Now git. Incidentally, since I took such a strong moral stance earlier, I have observed this troll and decided it's only trolling to try and cause confusion, it's not actually insane.

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It merely apes the insane for tactical trolling advantage. Still nothing about lizards in your link - obviously you and maybe your lesbian wife are suffering from Cognitive Dissonance, which prevents you from comprehending what I said the first time. So I'll say it again. There is no talk of lizards in that link. I think telepathic aliens is enough to go on with.

Or is it your lesbian wife that has a job as janitor? Where does she work - at a correction facility probably. Pussy1 and Pussy2 sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g. So you've been talking with telepathic aliens now? Where did you see them? Does NASA know? But where are your alien lizards that you keep talking about? Oh I see, you are backing off that one, eh? Still worming and squirming. I'm thinking I was wrong: it's a Scientologist. Why are you still worming and squirming? Perhaps you are still seeing alien lizards before your eyes? Shouldn't you get your eyes checked?

There might be some kind of growth in there. Who's a scientologist? So now you're seeing Tom Cruise? Lady, you're about ready for the mental ward in your favorite institution. Standard troll behavior: avoid an unpleasant truth and accuse the other side of the same thing. Just like the Republican'ts always do, and the other destroyatives and confusionists. Now, who does that sound like? You gonna deny Elron and all that stuff? Or just try to bury it in the catbox? You said it: -If you talk to aliens telepathically then Now what were you arguing about again?

Whining about being trolled? After David Icke anyone talking about telepathic aliens is either a total nutjob or a Scientologist. Which are you? Yessah, dems aliens be talking in dat telepathic talkings like you done been sayin'. So when did you start talking telepathically to aliens. Did they come across the border with Mexico? Dat be you, eh? I knew it. Da Pussytard be trolling, worming and squirming all nighty long. They're your words. Do you deny them? No, the location of the particle at some time t is what's being measured so its position is the dependent variable.

You're free to parameterize n-dimensional motion as n one-dimensional algebraic equations if you like, but Einstein and many others since have had much success describing reality using four dimensions rather than three. In physics "dimension" can mean any physical measurement like length, position, time, mass, etc. Can't help wondering what your simple 3-d logic says about the success physicists have using imaginary complex numbers in quantum mechanics Reg Mundy.

All matter including us is expanding, and that expansion is TIME. Which is essentially, the three physical dimensions - In a space that allows them to exist. It's a lot more possible than singularities. I'll dare to do whatever the math allows, thank you RC, and an example of 'mixing' would be plugging the equations for Fermi-Dirac statistics and Bose-Einstein statistics into Newton's equation for the force of gravity to produce a curve the looks just like the strong force Electronic clocks the same thing, it's the movement of electrons that makes them run, movement of electrons is kinetic energy.

I agree; however, instead of sayinging falsifiable; say provable True or False via the use of the defined Modus Ponens; In this case the Formal Logic, i. You Universe of "Discourse", IE. Try Charge Exist! In other words, we are stupid! Hot topic! Who's qualified to make a judgment? Alot of interesting thoughts, going to have to read all. I've never seen alien lizards or machines that rape You've never seen Barbarella then.

Or Saturn 3. Haha pussytard calls da scheide 'da pussy'. Falsify THAT haha. And you immediately reverted to your insulting-nincompoop self when proven wrong, DS. Here's three New Year Resolutions for you, DS: 1 stop being a self-made insulting asshole; 2 start reading and understanding properly in context. DS, think what I tried to point out for you when I said you were "putting the cart before the horse".

Da Scchneib. Bwahaha, arcmetal doesn't think time is required for entropy. Hi Reg! Long time no 'see'. All the best for the New Year, mate. BTW, mate; I never asked: what is your 'expanding matter' expanding 'into'. Is it anything like now falsified BB 'expansion'? Your getting closer, mate! I'll dare to do whatever the math allows, thank you RC, No problem, mate. Perhaps then we would not get all these 'publish-or-perish' hacks writing papers that clutter up the scientific literature with GIGO-dependent fantasy 'dimensions' like the above and like all those which BB-hacks have been perpetrating for too many decades now.

Anyhow, mate, best wishes for the New Year! Stay safe; stay well. When you add Time into the equation, you have added nothing, and when you add Spacetime, all you have added is Space - whether or not you have factored in Duration and Distance. Scientists could go so much further and be more productive if they understood the fallacy that they have attached to their maths by included Time as a factor. Time is not even an entity, in Truth.

Only a measurement of Duration and Distance with the use of clock mechanisms. Never saw your Barbarella. Must have been before my time. Never saw any alien lizards either - especially telepathic ones that talk to Da Scheidebo telepathically. Nothing to falsify, PussyOtto - I have seen and talked with Extraterrestrials who live and work on this planet. There is nothing wrong with getting to know and understand them.

They have changed their appearance to look more human. Nothing wrong with that either. So what is your complaint, Pussyturd? Did one of Da Scheide's alien lizards crawl up your arse? Whether or not time is a physical dimension such as the x, y, z coordinates or whether time is just a measure of change is currently unknown.

We can traverse physical dimensions, like travel forward and back along the x axis. It is currently unknown whether time can be traversed in a similar manner, but should it be found one day that time can be traveled forward as well as backwards it would be proven that time is a real physical dimension just as the 3 spatial dimensions. This is absolutely unimportant when it comes to the study of physical systems.

Mathematically I can calculate the Earth's motion through space as well as calculate the inverse time reversed motion. When it comes to the study of physical systems time is a useful dimension to work with regardless of whether time turns out to be a real world dimension or not.

It is most certainly NOT a Dimension, physical or otherwise. I cannot stress this enough. Considering Time as a Dimension in addition to the 3 already known is ridiculous and shows that mankind is still liable to fall for the imaginings of Philosophers who give names and abilities to the Undefinable properties of Time. Electronic clocks the same thing, it's the movement of electrons that makes them run This is close to what I was imagining.

What seems more fundamental is the shift in energy from one form to another, or a change in entropy of a system. Time is irrelevant. Imagine a simple desktop experiment where we wish to measure a change in its temp, or entropy, or whatever. We can use a spring loaded clock to measure the rates of changes in the experiment. But notice, we are using a spring loaded with energy to move the clock hands, which then shifts the energy from the spring to the gears.

That is, we are using a change in entropy in one device to measure another change in entropy in the experiment's mechanism. What if instead we used a similar clock that was near a black hole? Very well said. The passage of time seems to be an illusion our brain has created for us. Just like how we see mostly in black and white, but it only looks like our complete field of view is color. We only have a tiny sliver of color detectors in our eyes, the brain fills in the rest of the color we only think we see.

Our brains are always creating illusions for us to make life easier to navigate. Received light has directional vector Pointing to center of the last fie. It also may have a direction in Time, i. Using time in the equations sure does make a lot of things easier to calculate, but like you say, it is difficult to say if its a real thing or not. Its similar to what I've noticed when trying to describe electromagnetic fields. Using only 3 spacial coordinates: x, y, z, it is very complicated to describe the fields, but using 4 spacial coordinates like: x, y, z, w, the fields become much easier to describe.

Even though, no one has been able to point me in the direction of "w".

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Seems you totally misunderstand me. I never said time is a dimension or anything like that. I said that what we subjectively perceive as TIME is actually the expansion of matter which is a product of our following the "laws" of physics to guide our path thru the primordial particle chaos. TIME is thus quantum and non-repeating. Go ahead be God, Space and time are equal in magnitude; every point has a defined set of attributes; better it's Object Memory: You define the clock.

I understood you perfectly, Reg, but I really just wanted to clear up any possibility of others reading my post having a misconception of my own beliefs. I try to put my ideas across clearly and concisely. Hopefully, a more fitting name will be forthcoming for the misconception of Time as a physical "thing".

I don't know that there ever was a "primordial particle chaos", since if there was such a chaos, then why is that chaos no longer evident "out there". Everything seems to be flowing smoothly in a Natural Order with very few chaotic events - unless you want to consider that the merging of galaxies is a form of Chaos. I reject Chaos in the Universe Galaxy clusters in perfect barycenters of motion within their local groupings never requiring something even bigger to explain their movements through the cosmos. Oh, look, a titch of brolls. Dare I say that time exists and is a dimension per Einstein.

I reject Chaos Symbol: S 2 lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into I will need to think this definition over a tad bit. Will get back to you. A lack of chaos should not be defined as "a lack of order". Ok Benni this is your quote. Nobody has changed it. If the other dimensions that is hypothesized within string theory is effectively compressed by gravity but in a much more aggravated way then the known three spacial dimensions that we live in then as space expands due to the expanding force of the big bang when pockets between galaxies begins to appear where there is very little mass, effect of gravity becomes negligible as well in which the other dimensions hypothesized in string theory that was hiding may unfold resulting to a larger expansion force that we now observe known as dark energy.

It also solves various other questions involving dark energy like why it does not grow weaker as space expands and so on. This has been my pet theory concerning dark energy for the last ten years or so. You simply cannot call that a theory, unless of course you have no idea what the word means.

Dec 31, Some are from Quora. All very interesting. I have read that "they" in your field of interest have moved away from "order" and "disorder" - now defining it as "Energy Dispersion". I really must purchase that book at the University store on Laws of Thermodynamics. Getting highly motivated. The galaxy clusters are either leading in front of, or following behind other galaxies - whether clustered or single. Their motion is set by the galaxies out in front, which are pulling gravitationally, I think , and the ones behind are "pushing" the ones in front.

Similar to a parade of Mass that, depending on which direction the observer is looking - one cluster may seem to be going away from him while the other is coming. In your own words, what does this "time as dimension" look like to you? Does it have height, weight, depth, length, a big nose? Does it absorb, emit, repulse, spin, attract, liquefy, harden, coagulate? Can you see it, feel it, play with it, step through it, take a photo of it?

Can you make geometric patterns with it? Please explain. Without the concept of "time", you couldn't do any of those things. You could say it is a collection of the 1st 3 plus the space to function in. Ergo - timespace. And it is not "manmade", inasmuch as body rotations and orbits throughout the universe are all cyclic "clocks" that were ticking way before we got here. Those were the "clocks" that ancient man used long before we had anything resembling cuckoo clocks.

Hell, man. Now, if I throw the apple, it falls along a curved path. But imagine I could get the apple moving much faster. Eventually, if I get the apple moving really, really fast, say, 17, miles an hour, its curved path matches the curve of Earth. The apple is in orbit, falling freely, just like the International Space Station and the astronauts inside it. According to Einstein, the apple and the Space Station and the astronauts are all falling freely along a curved path in space.

And what makes that path curved? The mass of the earth. There are no forces any more. There's just objects bending space-time and other objects following the straightest line through it. So, how does the earth move the apple without touching it? The earth curves space and the apple falls freely along those curves. That, according to Einstein's general theory of relativity, is gravity: curved space. And that understanding of gravity, that an object causes the space around it to curve, leads directly to black holes. But it's not Albert Einstein who first makes the connection between gravity and black holes; it's another scientist.

But Schwarzschild, sitting on the front with bullets and bombs flying, calculated an exact solution to Einstein's theory and sent it to Einstein. Einstein was astonished. He hadn't even imagined that you could solve these equations exactly. In his solution to Einstein's equations, he discovers something Einstein himself had not anticipated. Then he calculates how that mass would bend space and curve rays of light passing nearby. The particles disappeared. Time stopped. Anything that enters that region will be trapped, unable to escape, even light.

You can check in, but you can't check out. Once you go across that boundary, even if you can sail through, there's nothing you can do to get out, there's nothing you can do to signal out. It becomes this strange cut off portion of space-time. But Albert Einstein, whose own theory of gravity predicts such a thing, cannot believe it can happen in the real world. The strange theoretical sphere discovered by Karl Schwarzschild seems destined to be forgotten, nothing but a curious historical footnote.

But in the coming decades, physicists learn more about the atom, and about how fusing atoms powers stars, a process called "nuclear fusion. Some begin to wonder if something like a black hole could actually come from a star, but not just any star, it would have to be big.

Like humans, they have life cycles. The mass of a star determines what's going to happen after it finishes burning its hydrogen fuel. Gravity wants to crush the entire mass of the star, but the enormous energy released by fusion pushes outward, preventing the star from collapsing. Fusing atoms larger than iron doesn't release enough energy to support the star, and without enough energy from fusion keeping the star inflated, there's nothing to fight gravity. JANNA LEVIN: Very rapidly, trillions of tons of material come crashing down, hit the dense core and bounce back out, blowing off the outer layers of the star in a massive explosion, a "supernova.

The more mass, the more gravity, so if the remaining core is massive enough, gravity becomes unstoppable. It remained a solution, a mathematical enigma for a very long time, so it took a long time for people to even start looking for them. Princeton physicist John Wheeler, who had originally been a skeptic, begins to use a name from history for these invisible objects: black hole.

Then, in , graduate student Jocelyn Bell discovers a strange, extremely tiny dead star that gives off very little light, a neutron star. The cold remains of a stellar collapse, the neutron star gives astronomers more confidence that black holes, much heavier dead stars, might also exist. A half-century after Karl Schwarzschild mathematically showed that black holes are theoretically possible, scientists have identified a natural process that might create them: the death of large stars.

So our galaxy is replete with little black holes, which are the stellar corpses of generations of stars that have come and gone. Imagine I'm exploring space, with some advanced technology for interstellar travel, so that we could visit a black hole, maybe one in our own galactic neighborhood. This particular black hole isn't very big, only about 10 solar masses, meaning, 10 times the mass of the sun. And like all black holes, it has an event horizon, a distinct edge to the darkness.

That's the boundary Karl Schwarzschild first discovered, where gravity is so strong that nothing can escape, not even light. As we get closer, some very strange things begin to happen. Look at the edge of the black hole. See how the image of distant stars is distorted and smeared into a circle? That's gravitational lensing. The black hole's extreme gravity bends the path of light passing by, so that a single point of light, like a star, briefly appears as a ring around the event horizon.

I'm now deep in the black hole's gravity well, and we're going to start experiencing the effects. The extreme gravity actually slows down time relative to the earth. From their point of view, I appear to be slooowwwing dooowwwn, but from my point of view, time on Earth is speeding up. Now, let's say I want to get even closer, by taking a spacewalk. The way the black hole slows down time is about to get even more pronounced. To keep track of the changes I'm about to experience, I'm turning on this strobe light.

It'll blink once a second. From here, I can see the shadow of the event horizon approaching and my light blinking normally. But watching from the ship, the closer I move toward the black hole, the more slowly I appear to move. The pulses are nearly infinitely spaced, so it looks as though I'm frozen in time. If you waited long enough, maybe millions or billions of years, the ship would finally see me disappear.

And that's the last you'd see of me. What's inside a black hole? That's still a mystery. And even if I find out, I can never go back and tell you. But I can say this: black holes may be dark from the outside, but inside, they can be bright. I can watch the light from the galaxy that's fallen in behind me, and that's the last thing I'll ever see. Unfortunately, the fun is about to end. Now that I've crossed the event horizon, I'm falling toward the center, where all of the mass of the black hole is concentrated, and I'm beginning to get stretched. As I fall in, the gravitational pull at my feet is stronger than at my head, and my body is starting to get pulled apart.

I'll be stretched as long and thin as a noodle—spaghettified—and, ultimately, I'll end up completely disintegrating into my fundamental particles, which are then crushed to an infinitely small point, a "singularity," where everything we understand about space and time breaks down. Or maybe the black hole, less than 40 miles across on the outside, is as big as a universe on the inside, and as I pass through, my particles will join the primordial soup of a new beginning. So, that's what theory tells us we might experience if we could travel to a black hole. But how can we know for sure?

How do you investigate something you can't even see? There are ways to investigate if something is happening somewhere, even if I can't see that thing directly. Take Yankee Stadium: what's happening inside there? Is there a game going on? I can't see the field; I can't see any players or baseballs or bats; but I can definitely tell if there's activity around the park. It's pretty clear something is going on. It might seem obvious, but whatever it is, I can learn a lot just by observing the happenings around the stadium.

And these do look a lot like baseball fans. And that's the way we investigate black holes: by observing the effect they have on their surroundings. Starting just before World War II, two monumental discoveries are about to radically change astronomy.


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In , Bell Labs engineer Karl Jansky picks up mysterious radio waves emanating from deep space. Then, the sky gets even stranger, when scientists mount Geiger counters on captured German rockets and discover the cosmos is also full of X-rays. These discoveries give astronomers important new tools that will revolutionize the hunt for black holes and dramatically expand our vision.

Electromagnetic radiation includes waves of many different frequencies: radio waves, microwaves, infrared and ultraviolet light, X-rays and gamma rays. Radio and X-ray astronomy open up the sky, revealing dim or even invisible objects, blasting out powerful energy no one knew was there. RAI WEISS: They began to realize that this very placid thing that we see out there, all this very quiet thing that looks like nothing is happening and the only thing that's moving is the planets, found out that there was madness going out there.

It was chaos out there. What is creating all this energy? This much is certain: whatever the source, it is invisible to ordinary optical telescopes. And it is hot. I was coming to the end of my three-year contract, and I thought, "What can I contribute to finding out what these things are? Using the largest telescope in England, he begins searching the area of the constellation Cygnus, the Swan.

He decides to hunt for pairs of stars. Pairs of stars are called binaries. They may sound exotic, but they're not at all uncommon. Many of the stars we see, perhaps half, are actually binaries: pairs of orbiting stars, locked together by gravity. So, Murdin begins searching for a visible star that shows signs of motion. Sometimes it's coming towards you, sometimes it's coming away. Moving away, it appears more red, as the wavelength of its light gets longer.

This is known as "Doppler shift. After looking for color changes in hundreds of stars in the area of Cygnus, Murdin spots a possible suspect, a visible star whose light is shifting, as though moving around. The star was moving around and around, with a period going round once every 5. There was one star there; there wasn't the second star there. The second object emits X-rays, has enough mass and gravity to dramatically move a star, but gives off no light.

If not, it's probably just a neutron star, a collapsed star that's dense but not heavy enough to be a black hole. So, there was a story, then, that Cygnus X-1 was a black hole. And the key to the argument was that the mass of the star you couldn't see was more than three solar masses. When I'd finished writing it all out, I sat back and thought, "It's a black hole. It's a huge claim, and Murdin will have to convince skeptics, starting with his boss. I was nervous about the scale of the discovery, and, actually, so were other people all around me.

I was working with a fellow scientist, Louise Webster. And we were modest about the claim that we were making, because we knew what people would think of it. And if you look at the paper we published, it just mentions the word "black hole" once, right at the end. Other astronomers agree it could be a black hole, but no one knows for sure. Both men hope it is a black hole.

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But Hawking, not wanting to jinx it, bets against his own wishes. And so we signed that bet in December And, gradually, the case that it really was a black hole became stronger and stronger and stronger. So, in June of , Stephen broke into my office and he thumbprinted off on this bet, conceded the bet in my absence. I came back from Russia and discovered that he had conceded. In order to calculate mass, Paul Murdin had to rely on rough estimates of the distance to Cygnus X-1, which varied by a factor of And the question wouldn't be answered for another 20 years, until astronomer Mark Reid became intrigued by the puzzle.

Reid is an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics when he sets out to conclusively prove that Cygnus X-1 is a black hole, by measuring its precise mass. Using laws developed by German astronomer Johannes Kepler in the s, it's possible to calculate the mass of a celestial object, but only if you know its distance.

If you don't know distance, you don't know what the object is. It could be a very nearby firefly-like thing. It could be a very distant, huge star, much, much bigger than the sun. But how can he measure the distance to a star? The secret lies in a familiar phenomenon: parallax. It's what our eyes and brains use to see in three dimensions. I'm closing my left eye, and I'm looking at my finger relative to the wall in the background there. And now, if I open my eye, close my right eye, I see my finger has appeared to move with respect to the original position.

And that's because our eyes are separated and we view from different vantage points. Now, the earth goes around the sun once a year. And in the springtime, the earth ends up on one side of the sun, and we observe Cygnus X-1 along a ray path like this. And six months later, the earth goes around the sun to the other side, we get a different vantage point from Cygnus X We know the base of the triangle: the diameter of Earth's orbit.


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And the principles of geometry tell us that all we need to calculate the distance is the size of the angle at the top. And then, from direct geometry, we can calculate the distance to Cygnus X-1, and from that infer a very accurate mass. Because the angle is so very tiny, it can't be measured by any one telescope.

But Reid's team has a solution. Croix in the Virgin Islands. We use these telescopes simultaneously, and we synthesize, in a computer, a telescope that has the diameter of the size of the earth. That gives you incredible angular resolution. MARK REID: With the new distance we got, the 6, light year distance, we're able to determine that the mass is about 15 solar masses, easily a black hole.

I think, as a result of this discovery, I got offered a permanent job. And it was a great celebration for the family. So it worked out very well for me, as well as getting the intellectual satisfaction of solving a problem. If we could visit in my imaginary spaceship, what would we see? The distance to Cygnus X-1 has been established at 6, light years from Earth, and its mass is 15 solar masses, or 15 times the mass of the sun.

And Cygnus X-1 is surrounded by an accretion disk, a disk-shaped cloud of gas and dust, outside its event horizon, the point of no return. As gravity pulls matter toward the black hole, the cloud starts rotating, just like water being pulled down a drain. Within that accretion disk, particles closest to the black hole whip around at half the speed of light. It's like a giant particle accelerator in space. But why does it emit X-rays? As those particles race around, they collide, which heats them up to millions of degrees.

When they get that hot, particles blast out X-rays. And it's those X-rays that first led astronomer Paul Murdin to investigate this black hole nearly five decades ago. And there's something else about Cygnus that's different: it has a companion star. This blue supergiant star orbits the black hole once every 5. It orbits so close to Cygnus X-1 that the black hole strips material off the star and pulls it into the accretion disk.

These beams of particles and radiation stream outward from Cygnus's north and south poles, perpendicular to the accretion disk.

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There's still a lot we don't know about these jets, but they are tightly focused and extremely powerful, blasting out at nearly the speed of light, and extending well beyond Cygnus. And we don't understand exactly how, but these magnetic fields help collimate these massive outflows from black holes, powerful hoses, if you will, that just spew matter out. They flicker, they have bursts; it's a very violent fireball, very active.

After decades of skepticism, scientists now accept that burned-out corpses of large stars can trap light inside them, warp space and time around them, attract matter and accelerate it to mind-boggling speeds. But bit by bit, the evidence for black holes has gotten stronger and stronger. And we've seen these amazing things. And there are probably millions more of these massive stellar corpses in our galaxy alone. Everything astronomers think they know about black holes, and much of what they believe about the universe itself will be upended by a shocking discovery. The revelations begin when radio telescope surveys of the sky detect mysterious hot spots emitting radio energy.

But are they stars or not? The first step in investigating them is to figure out what they're made of. To do that, astronomers analyze the electromagnetic energy they emit. Every element has a unique spectral fingerprint. For example, carbon, helium, hydrogen, these lines reveal the chemical makeup of a star. But the spectrum of a quasar turns out to be incomprehensible.

It didn't look like there were any emissions from elements that they knew! Finally, in , Caltech astronomer Maarten Schmidt finds it hiding in plain sight. Buried in the quasar's spectrum is the fingerprint of hydrogen. The fingerprints of hydrogen had been shifted way off to the red.

And that could only mean one thing: the quasar is moving away from us at fantastic speed. But astronomers have never before seen light shifted to such an extreme. Like a familiar sound shifting too low to understand, the light from quasars has shifted to such a degree that hydrogen is unrecognizable.

This extreme amount of shift means quasars are racing away from us at blinding speeds. The reason? It's the legacy of an event that occurred almost billion years ago: the Big Bang, the beginning of our universe. And ever since, the universe has been expanding, carrying with it all the objects it contains, including quasars. This made this object the furthest away thing that had ever been seen, which meant the thing itself had to be so luminous, and you had to account for that.

Where could all of this energy come from? They knew it couldn't be nuclear energy. No amount of nuclear fusion could produce that much star power. In everyday life, we can overcome gravity easily, but when concentrated to an extreme by a black hole, gravity is overwhelmingly powerful. A handful of scientists start wondering: could quasars perhaps be powered by gravity engines?

What if the energy blasting out from quasars is coming from bright accretion disks around black holes? How massive? Well, millions or billions of times heavier than the sun. Cygnus X-1 is only 15 times the mass of the sun. The black holes powering quasars are an entirely different category of black hole, "supermassives.

But what about our own galaxy? Could there be any supermassive black holes closer to home? The center, where any supermassive would be found, lies in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius, the Archer. Now, Sagittarius isn't just any constellation. It's in the direction of the center of our own Milky Way galaxy. But since we live inside the Milky Way, we can't see the galaxy the way a space traveler would. But I can use my trusted imaginary star machine to show us the galaxy from the outside. Our home is a spiral galaxy, hundreds of billions of stars, drawn together into a gigantic disk.

It's wide, about , light years across; but it's relatively thin, only about a thousand light years thick. And the whole spiral slowly rotates. And here, 26, light years from the earth, is the center, which we see in the direction of Sagittarius. In this dense center, there are millions of stars and lots and lots of dust and gas. So, that's the view of our galaxy from the outside, thanks to my imaginary technology. But since we live inside the Milky Way, when we look towards the center, we're looking through much of our own galaxy, which means it appears to us as a band of stars and dust across the sky, a "milky" way.

Deep inside this band of stars and dust, could a supermassive black hole be lurking? In the s, astronomers grow determined to solve the mystery, to peer through the murky Milky Way and learn what, if anything, is at its center. One of them is Andrea Ghez. Ghez takes on a daunting challenge. She will try to track individual stars orbiting the center of the galaxy. So you want to find the stars that are as close to the center of the galaxy as possible. Which means that I want to get access to the largest telescope I can possibly get my hands on.

The summit of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano almost 14, feet above the beaches of Hawaii. High altitude and low humidity make this the ideal place for astronomy. But despite its size, Keck has the same problem as all telescopes on Earth: atmospheric distortion. The river is moving very quickly, and your view of that pebble is distorted.

To compensate for this, Keck pioneers the scientific use of a declassified military technology called "adaptive optics. The turbulent atmosphere distorts the guide star, but the computer knows what it should look like and adjusts the telescope mirror accordingly. And the goal of the adaptive optics system is to introduce a second mirror that's the exact opposite shape and make you look flat again.

She begins recording their positions in The stars are whipping around the center of the Milky Way at phenomenal speeds. They're, they're really hauling. ANDREA GHEZ: In fact, this is the best evidence to date that we have for the existence of supermassive black holes, not only in the center of our own galaxy, but anywhere in the universe. From a cosmic perspective, it's right next door. And it raises a profound question.

There are billions of galaxies out there. If ours has a supermassive black hole at its center, and if quasars are found at the centers of their galaxies, what about the others? If they are, how common are they? We simply didn't know. They become known as "the Nukers," because their focus is galactic nuclei, the centers of galaxies. One of them is Tod Lauer.

It shows us where the stars in the galaxy are. It tells us its structure in exquisite resolution. Galaxies outside our own are much too far away to measure the speed of individual stars. But by analyzing the way light is shifted from blue to red at different points in the galaxy, astronomers can put together an average speed of stars orbiting the center. And we actually do that by building models of galaxies in the computer. TOD LAUER: Martin Schwarzschild's trick was he would actually build up a model of the galaxy that not only had where the mass was, but it also had how the stars were moving.

JANNA LEVIN: For each galaxy they investigate, the Nukers painstakingly build a computer model and then, using trial and error, adjust the parameters of mass and velocity, trying to make the model match the original observations they got from the Hubble. Success is when observations of the model match the observations taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. And you say, "Gee, we really can't get the observations explained by a model. We can't match the observations without a black hole in the model. And since then, other observations have made us even more certain that supermassives and galaxies go together.

Supermassives, once an entirely unexpected category of black holes, may be common, not only at the center of our galaxy, but of all galaxies. Take galaxy M31, also known as the great Andromeda Galaxy. It's two-and-a-half million light years away. On a clear night, you can see it from Earth, but even with the Hubble Space Telescope, we can't make out precise details of its center. Still, we're pretty sure there's something extremely massive hiding there.