Cygnus X-1
Astronomy

The Discovery of Black Holes: From Theory to Actuality

December 27, 2019

Although Einstein was skeptical about the existence of black holes, his own theory suggested otherwise. Bringing us closer to the discovery of black holes was an observation regarding the behavior of collapsing stars. A mysterious object called Cygnus X-1 at last delivered proof. […]

gamma rays burst from a dying star
Astronomy

Star Collapse and Black Holes: Exploring the Connection

December 9, 2019

What gives stars their power? And what happens when a star runs out of fuel? Exploring the various theories behind star collapse and the stages of collapse—including white dwarfs and neutron stars—eventually leads us to black holes. […]

The first image taken of a black hole
Astronomy

Einstein on Black Holes: Why He Rejected His Own “Child”

December 9, 2019

Black holes are a direct consequence of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. However, when examining the views of Einstein on black holes, we see that he was skeptical. Interestingly, an astronomer’s efforts to solve Einstein’s field equations end up pointing toward the existence of black holes. […]

Blackboard containing Einstein field equations, Hamiltonian and Gauss' Law
History of Science

Einstein’s Field Equations: A Long Road of Trial and Error

October 20, 2019

Einstein’s field equations would lead him down the path to perfecting his general theory of relativity. That path, though, was fraught with frustration as the numbers weren’t working out. Learn how even history’s most brilliant minds must persevere through setbacks. […]

Einstein formula of relativity on a blue background
History of Science

Einstein’s Equivalence Principle: Expanding Our View on Gravity

October 20, 2019

The special theory of relativity, brilliant as it was, still had some holes to account for after its initial conception. Einstein’s equivalence principle would help to address these issues, though the equations would take years to refine. Discover how Einstein’s findings challenged conventional beliefs about the nature of gravity as well as geometry. […]

Chemistry

Building the Periodic Table

January 9, 2017

The periodic table is the chemist’s playground—an icon of science that’s found on classroom walls around the world. It’s one of the most powerful conceptual tools in all of science, yet it didn’t spring forth all at once. […]

Computer rendering of 2 elevators floating in the clouds
History of Science

Einstein’s Experimental Elevator

December 14, 2016

In 1907, physicist Albert Einstein devised what we now call the “elevator” thought experiment, in which he dreamed up the idea of having an entire physics laboratory inside a falling elevator. The result of Einstein’s experimental elevator experiment was nothing less than the principles underlying the General Theory of Relativity. […]

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