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Issue 67 of the research*eu results magazine – Digging out the secrets of black holes

07 December 2017 European Commission, CORDIS

Black holes are easily one of the biggest mysteries the universe has to offer. In the eyes of the layperson, our current lack of understanding could easily be mistaken for a personal lack of command of the laws of physics. Yet, the truth is that even these laws are having a hard time withstanding the mind-boggling properties of black holes.

Physicists' debates around black holes have never been so lively. Whilst we have come to know more about how large and dense a black hole can be, how it absorbs matter down to its event horizon or how it progressively evaporates to ultimately vanish, some of the most important questions surrounding such objects are still open. 

There are, for example, the questions of how a supermassive black hole equivalent to the mass of millions or billions of our sun can be created, or how binary black hole systems affect matter surrounding them. Then, there is of course the more fundamental question of what a black hole is actually made of, or even how it affects the matter in its vicinity when it’s not close enough to be absorbed.

But beyond their own physics, black holes are also a central stage for one of the most exciting questions physicists have yet to tackle: the reconciliation of general relativity – Einstein’s theory explaining gravity – with quantum mechanics, which explains the other three forces of the universe. Doing that would create a long sought-after Theory of Everything (ToE) – the Holy Grail of physics. And to get there, one has to resolve the black hole information paradox, which is pretty much the embodiment of the existing conflict between the two laws.

Other topics in this edition include the following highlights:

  • New, tumour-specific therapy for colorectal cancer patients
  • Reframing the EU’s commitment to human rights
  • How to increase support for new power lines
  • For successful river basin adaptation planning, just add stakeholders
  • Next-generation marine sensors to protect the world’s oceans
  • Looking to the future through the first autonomous artificial iris
  • Emergent behaviour from collective systems underpins the success of ‘smart networks’
  • A modular solution for quick, efficient and secure EU border security
  • More than the sum of their parts: expanding the scope of particle accelerators

The Research*eu Results Magazine is the main source of information for all findings related to EU-funded science projects. It covers a large spectrum of scientific topics and is published 10 times per year in English.

For more information, sign up for a free subscription, read the new online edition or to download it in PDF, please visit:

Attached files

  • Issue 67 of the research*eu results magazine

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