Weighing Black Holes
Professor Martin Bureau
Professor of Astrophysics
University of Oxford
Tutor in Physics at Wadham College
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Date: Wednesday 7 January 2015
Price: Free! Register on YooPay
Taixing Road 99,
Zhangyuan Building A Room 202
(close to Nanjing West Road, Wujiang Road)
Black holes are now known to lurk at the centre of every galaxy, and to play a major role in the evolution of our universe. However, given their intrinsically small size, how this comes about remains shrouded in mystery. Come to this lecture and drinks reception where Professor Bureau will start with a brief look into the properties of light and the high-tech gadgetry that astronomers use to study the cosmos. He will further uncover the supermassive black holes hiding in galaxy centres, along with their importance for galaxy evolution. The current bag of tricks used to weigh black holes will be outlined, and the spectacular observations of the Milky Way black hole presented. Prof Bureau will then present a new, conceptually simple but powerful method to measure black holes developed in Oxford. This will exploit the new Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), the largest ground-based telescope project in existence, for which Europe, North America, and East Asia are all working together. The possibilities are, quite literally, astronomical. Be prepared to weigh your first black hole!