A forty-year journey. General relativity and supermassive black holes

With the contribution of Regione Emilia-Romagna
Reinhard Genzel, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics 2020, Director of the Department of Infrared and Sub-Millimeter Astronomy, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Münich. Introduced by Marco Bersanelli, Professor of Physics and Astrophysics at the University of Milan.

Just over a century ago Albert Einstein published his Theory of General Relativity. The following year Karl Schwarzschild found a solution to Einstein’s equations based on the assumption that even light could not escape from the so-called ‘event horizon’ of sufficiently compact masses, the famous ‘black holes’. In the following decades the concept of black hole was refined theoretically by astrophysicists such as Penrose, Wheeler, Kerr, Hawking and many others. The first indirect evidence of their existence in our Universe came from X-band observations of compact double stars and distant quasars.
Reinhard Genzel, winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics, will present the results of his more than 40 years of research. Thanks to accurate observations of the motion of gases and stars at the centre of the Milky Way, his studies have proved the existence of a single compact object with a mass equal to four million solar masses: a ‘supermassive black hole’.



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24 Agosto 2021






Auditorium Intesa Sanpaolo D1