Public Lecture during ASI 2021 by Prof. G. Srinivasan

We are indeed fortunate to have a public lecture by Prof. G. Srinivasan as a part of the 39th annual meeting of the Astronomical Society of India. Being a public lecture, it is meant to be accessible to a general audience. This online lecture will be live cast on the ASI YouTube channel. We invite you to join us for this public lecture, and request you to share this information widely with potentially interested people and on social media.

Speaker: Prof. G. Srinivasan

Date: Sunday, 21 February 2021 from 09.30 – 11:00 AM

Youtube link:

Title: Of Stars and Singularities

Abstract: The 2020 Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded jointly to Sir Roger Penrose, Andrea Ghez and Reinhard Genzel for their discoveries related to Black Holes. “Black Stars” were first predicted in 1783 by John Michell, but this remarkably prescient discovery was soon forgotten. Within a month of the publication of the General Theory of Relativity by Einstein, Karl Schwarzschild discovered an exact solution for the geometry of spacetime surrounding a spherically symmetric star. This solution predicted that no radiation can escape from a star once its radius contracts to a critical value. This rigorous conclusion was soundly rejected by Einstein. And yet, there is mounting evidence for the existence of countless numbers of black holes in our Universe. In this Public Lecture, I shall trace the key developments pertaining to Black Holes of General Relativity, highlighting, in particular, the remarkable discoveries by Penrose, Zeldovich and Hawking. The lecture will be nontechnical and is intended for a general audience.