Wednesday, September 30, 2009

This is why I like blackholes, this is why I am here!

So I made this presentation on singularities (that I had created it like 2 years ago) today. It wasn't one of the best shots I could have given, but it definitely gave me the excitement I was looking for in Physics.

For all of those who do not understand what a singularity is, it is basically a point on the graph of a mathematical function at which the function is undefined. The simplest example is y=1/x . As you approach 0 from the left, the function tends to -infinity (read as negative infinity) and if you approach it from the left, it tends to +infinity. So what is going on at x=0? we do not know. But perhaps thats what science is all about. Admitting that you don't know something, but then trying to understand it. So ow does a singularity come into the discussion of black holes? Well, what exactly is a black hole, I don't really know. But from what I understand, it is a singularity, or has a singularity at its center. When a star collapses beyond a certain point, that is if its density reaches a value that is more than the critical density (some number that I don't remember right now and am too lazy to google it), it does not have the strength to escape its own gravitational pull. In fact, nothing has that strength (there are some exceptions), even light, a massless entity. So basically, density = mass/volume, and we know that the mass of a star is finite, then if its volume tends to zero, its density tends to infinity, and thats a singularity there and then! (I'll talk more about it if I can gather my thoughts in a better manner than how I just did).
Stephen Hawking thought of the reverse of the formation of a black hole and related it to the origin of the universe. An infinitely dense point of/in space-time got a kick start from somewhere ( I don't really know much about it, like was there a kick-start kind of thing, but that is my assumption/opinion/take on this situation). And that dot just expanded into the universe we see today. Thats just very interesting.

Just in case I forget, I also saw the Moon and Jupiter and its 4 or 6 moons tonight through a telescope that rests (during the day) on top of the Math Science Building, 9th floor at UCLA. I must tell you, it is one of the most beautiful feelings int he world. I am so in love with the moon. No wonder Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and other Apollo astronauts agreed to risk their lives to go to the moon. Just looking at the moon transports you to a different world that is so different and far off from this beautiful planet of yours. It also gives you a sense of belonging to this planet, you feel like you have a responsibility on your shoulders to take care of it. Would it not have been even more beautiful had it not been touched by man and been drilled into to construct steel skyscrapers?

I just want to end this by saying what I wrote down a couple of years ago in my diary-

My future remains unclear,
As dark as Space itself,
or as misty as fog.
However, the specks of light,
that shine so bright,
the Stars, Nebulae & Planets
raise a hope in me.
They inspire me to reach out to them,
and to conquer my fears.
For man could never reach the moon,
if he had feared the dark black of Space.