Black Hole Mini Golf
Exhibit Code: GOR-132
Zone: Field House
Location: Gordon Field House and Activities Center (GOR/024) - Main Floor
Time: All Day
The gravity around black holes is so strong that it even bends light. If light gets too close to a black hole it falls in and is lost forever, but if it skims the surface it can be flung back out in any direction. We will illustrate this with a game of 'black hole mini golf'. The ball will be a photon and the object of the game is to shot the photon in such a way that you hit a target through a black hole 'obstacle course' The gravity of black hole depends on its mass and how fast it spins. In fact the spin of a black hole can greatly change the path of your golf ball. The golf course will consist of different arrangement of black holes with various masses and spins. You will get an intuitive understanding of the effects of mass and spin on a photon. This phenomenon is called 'gravitational lensing'. Like an ordinary lense, gravitational lenses can distort, and magnify, and even create the illusion that a star or even a whole galaxy is in a different place in the sky than it actually is. In a presentation we will connect the intuitive understanding with the science behind it. The scientists present at the exhibition will explain how the paths of the golf balls are related to the many spectacular images from the Hubble SpaceTelescope. Our research team at RIT studies not just single black holes, but the collisions of multiple black holes. The collision and mergers are important for the growth of galaxies. These spectacular events affect the light that we see on earth. The gravity from merging black holes makes the gas so hot that it even emits X-Rays. Using supercomputers, researchers at the Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation model these merging black holes and the very hot gas that surrounds them.
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