Building black holes: Supercomputer cinema

Stuart L. Shapiro, Saul A. Teukolsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A new computer code can solve Einstein's equations of general relativity for the dynamical evolution of a relativistic star cluster. The cluster may contain a large number of stars that move in a strong gravitational field at speeds approaching the speed of light. Unstable star clusters undergo catastrophic collapse to black holes. The collapse of an unstable cluster to a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy may explain the origin of quasars and active galactic nudei. By means of a supercomputer simulation and color graphics, the whole process can be viewed in real time on a movie screen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-425
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume241
Issue number4864
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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