What is a Black Hole?
A black hole is said to be a region of space where nothing, include light, can escape. It is caused by the collapse of a large star in on to itself. The collapse of this mass causes a deformity in space-time causing a black hole. A black hole is surrounded by what is known as an event horizon. This is invisible and absorbs all light thus the phenomena is known as a “black” hole. A black hole has an extremely high gravitational field and although it cannot be observed, its presence can be detected by how it impacts on surrounding stars and gases.
Who Discovered Black Holes?
Scientists have discovered a number of events they believe to be black holes, but the idea of black holes is based on the theory of general relativity. The first scientist to theorize the idea of a black hole was geologist John Michell in 1783. In 1769 a mathematician named Pierre-Simon Laplace also proposed a black hole or dark stars theory.
In 1915 Albert Einstein put forth the theory of general relativity showing that gravity does influence the movement of light. Since then many scientists have added to this theory and developed the theory behind black holes. Karl Schwarzschild developed the idea behind the event horizon which was later extended and built upon by in 1958 by David Finkelstein. In 1963, Roy Kerr found the exact solution for a rotating black hole. Newman also developed the theory regarding black holes. Work by James Bardeen, Jacob Bekenstein, Carter, and Hawking in the early 1970s led to the formulation of the laws of black hole mechanics. The name “black hole” was first used by John Wheeler during a lecture in 1967. Before that they had been know as dark stars, frozen stars, singularities and black bodies. It is now generally accepted amongst scientific communities that black holes exist and research has identified a number of stellar black hole candidates. In 1998, evidence was found to suggest a super massive black hole at the center of the milky way near the Sagittarius A* region.