Astrophysics

Astrophysics

In Search Of: Failed Supernovae

Christopher Kochanek
Ohio State University
May 12, 2015

Failed supernovae, where core collapse leads to the formation of a black hole without an external supernova, have always been one of the possible outcomes when a massive star dies.  The observed properties of the dying, progenitor stars, mismatches between the star formation and supernova rates, the black hole mass

Quantum Beauty

Frank Wilczek
Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
December 11, 2012

Does the world embody beautiful ideas? This is a question that people have thought about for a long time. Pythagoras and Plato intuited that the world should embody beautiful ideas; Newton and Maxwell demonstrated how the world could embody beautiful ideas, in specific impressive cases. Finally in the twentieth century in modern physics, and especially in quantum physics, we find a definitive answer: Yes! The world does embody beautiful ideas.

The Fifth Element: Astronomical Evidence for Black Holes, Dark Matter, and Dark Energy

Scott Tremaine
Institute for Advanced Study
October 15, 2008

Scott Tremaine, Richard Black Professor, School of Natural Sciences
One of the remarkable successes of twentieth century astronomy was the demonstration that the laws of physics derived in the laboratory can successfully describe a wide range of astronomical objects and phenomena. One of the great hopes of twenty-first century physics is that astronomy can return the favor, by allowing us to explore physics that cannot be studied in the laboratory. As examples, Professor Tremaine described three exotic forms of matter that (so far) are known to exist only from astronomical observations: black holes, dark matter, and dark energy.