For Further Exploration: Black Holes and Curved Spacetime


Black Holes

Charles, P. & Wagner, R. "Black Holes in Binary Stars: Weighing the Evidence." Sky & Telescope (May 1996): 38. Excellent review of how we find stellar-mass black holes.

Gezari, S. "Star-Shredding Black Holes." Sky & Telescope (June 2013): 16. When black holes and stars collide.

Jayawardhana, R. "Beyond Black." Astronomy (June 2002): 28. On finding evidence of the existence of event horizons and thus black holes.

Nadis, S. "Black Holes: Seeing the Unseeable." Astronomy (April 2007): 26. A brief history of the black hole idea and an introduction to potential new ways to observe them.

Psallis, D. & Sheperd, D. "The Black Hole Test." Scientific American (September 2015): 74–79. The Event Horizon Telescope (a network of radio telescopes) will test some of the stranger predictions of general relativity for the regions near black holes. The September 2015 issue of Scientific American was devoted to a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the general theory of relativity.

Rees, M. "To the Edge of Space and Time." Astronomy (July 1998): 48. Good, quick overview.

Talcott, R. "Black Holes in our Backyard." Astronomy (September 2012): 44. Discussion of different kinds of black holes in the Milky Way and the 19 objects known to be black holes.

Gravitational Waves

Bartusiak, M. "Catch a Gravity Wave." Astronomy (October 2000): 54.

Gibbs, W. "Ripples in Spacetime." Scientific American (April 2002): 62.

Haynes, K., & Betz, E. "A Wrinkle in Spacetime Confirms Einstein’s Gravitation." Astronomy (May 2016): 22. On the direct detection of gravity waves.

Sanders, G., and Beckett, D. "LIGO: An Antenna Tuned to the Songs of Gravity." Sky & Telescope (October 2000): 41.


Black Holes

  • Black Hole Encyclopedia: From StarDate at the University of Texas McDonald Observatory.
  • Black Holes:  NASA overview of black holes, along with links to the most recent news and discoveries.
  • Black Holes FAQ: Frequently asked questions about black holes, answered by Ted Bunn of UC–Berkeley’s Center for Particle Astrophysics.
  • Black Holes: Gravity’s Relentless Pull: The Hubble Space Telescope’s Journey to a Black Hole and Black Hole Encyclopedia (a good introduction for beginners).
  • Introduction to Black Holes: The Cambridge University Relativity Group’s pages on black holes and related calculations.
  • March 1918: Testing Einstein: Nature Podcast about the 1919 eclipse expedition that proved Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.
  • Movies from the Edge of Spacetime: Physicists simulate the behavior of various black holes.
  • Virtual Trips into Black Holes and Neutron Stars: By Robert Nemiroff at Michigan Technological University.

Gravitational Waves

  • Advanced LIGO: The full story on this gravitational wave observatory.
  • Gravitational Waves Detected, Confirming Einstein’s Theory: New York Times article and videos on the discovery of gravitational waves.
  • Gravitational Waves Discovered from Colliding Black Holes: Scientific American coverage of the discovery of gravitational waves (note the additional materials available in the menu at the right).
  • LIGO Caltech
  • eLISA


Black Holes

Black Holes: The End of Time or a New Beginning?: 2012 Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture by Roger Blandford (1:29:52).

Death by Black Hole: Neil deGrasse Tyson explains spaghettification with only his hands (5:34).

Hearts of Darkness: Black Holes in Space: 2010 Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture by Alex Filippenko (1:56:11).

Gravitational Waves

Journey of a Gravitational Wave: Introduction from LIGO Caltech (2:55).

LIGO’s First Detection of Gravitational Waves: Explanation and animations from PBS Digital Studio (9:31).

Two Black Holes Merge into One: Simulation from LIGO Caltech (0:35).

What the Discovery of Gravitational Waves Means: TED Talk by Allan Adams (10:58).

Licenses and Attributions