Black holes sit on the cusp of the unknowable. Everything that crosses the threshold of a black hole is lost forever, trapped by extreme gravitation. That enigmatic quality makes the giants an attractive subject, scientists explain in the new documentary Black Holes: The Edge of All We Know.
The film follows two teams that have worked in recent years to unravel the monstrosities shrouded in mystery. Scientists at the Event Horizon Telescope are trying to make the first image of the shadow of a black hole using a global network of telescopes. Meanwhile, a small group of theoretical physicists, anchored by Stephen Hawking – who was still alive when filming began – intend to solve a theoretical dilemma called the black hole information paradox (SN: 16/05/14).
When great discoveries occur, the camera is there, allowing us to get excited the moment the scientists at the Event Horizon Telescope put their eyes for the first time on the face of a black hole. And we triumphed when the team unveiled the result in 2019, a now well-known orange ring-shaped image depicting the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy M87 (SN: 4/10/19). Similarly, the scenes in which Hawking questions his collaborators as they explain blackboards full of equations are fascinating. Viewers witness bright minds playing with each other, struggling with mistakes and no way out in their calculations, punctuated by punctual and innovative progress.
Watch the trailer for Black Holes: The Edge of All We Know.
Awesome cinematography and skillful editing lend power to Black Holes, directed by Harvard physicist and historian Peter Galison and available on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video and other on-demand platforms on March 2nd. When the Event Horizon Telescope team starts taking data, we & # 39; A sharp assembly of telescopes was again made all over the world, all rotating to glimpse the black hole. Later, bright rays of the sun cut through an office floor while scientists confuse the calculations about the darkest objects in the cosmos. These scenes are punctuated by deliciously strange black-and-white animations that evoke appropriate thought for contemplating cosmic rarities.
Sign up to receive the latest from Science News
Headlines and summaries of the latest Science News articles, delivered in your inbox
There’s also drama: Scientists at the Event Horizon Telescope struggle with teams that misbehave and curse uncooperative time. Theoretical physicists face the immense complexity of the cosmos in slow, distracted paths through the forest.
Other research topics include brief mentions, such as the study of gravitational waves from colliding black holes (SN: 21/1/21) and black hole analogs made using water vortices (SN 6/12/17). The film deals with these varied efforts to study black holes independently; some viewers may want the dots to be better connected.
Still, Black Holes successfully takes viewers through a fascinating and understandable walk through the varied frontiers of knowledge of the black hole. As Harvard physicist Shep Doeleman of the Event Horizon Telescope Telescope team describes in the film, "we're chasing something that struggles with all its might not to be seen." Pulling us to the edge of this unfathomable abyss, Black Holes invites us to be with the scientists peeking over the edge.