26 April 2019
A fortnight ago, astronomers revealed the first close-up images of a huge black hole. They offer scientists the opportunity to marry Einstein’s theory of relativity to the world of quantum mechanics. In a black hole everything is crushed into an infinitely small space.
This is the elusive, ‘Theory of Everything’ which Stephen Hawking spent a large part of his life trying to unravel. The most interesting thing about black holes is that they were discovered long before they were observed in the universe.
The discovery was entirely theoretical. The mathematics laid bare their existence but the scientists had to wait three decades before they found any signs of them in the universe. Perhaps Plato was right afterall when he said, ‘God is a geometer!’