Dr. Samir Mathur Reflection

I found Dr. Samir Mathur’s presentation very informative. Prior to his presentation, my prior knowledge of what a black hole was that it is a  “black form in space.” I had no idea that a black hole is actually a star that has collapsed on itself. I now know that as the star begins to shrink in on itself, it’s gravity and pressure increases (due to the Pauli-exclusion Principle), it becomes a neutron star, and begins to spin very quickly. As the neutron star continues to shrink to a central point, its density is infinite; this is how black hole forms.

I also live under a rock and actually had no idea exactly what Stephen Hawking was famous for. I can remember my physic professor reading us a Steven Hawking quote, and thus assumed that he was a physicist. I now know that Stephen Hawking is famous for discovering that blackholes violate quantum mechanics and for supporting S. Chandrasekhar’s black hole theory.

In summary, I’m very thankful for Dr. Samir Mathur’s presentation because not only did he catch me up to speed on black holes, but he made me consider just how big our universe is. Like Bryson mentioned in our book, the universe is huge! For example, Dr. Samir Mathur’s taught us that each galaxy has about 100,000,000,000 stars (the size of our Sun). If there are 100,000,000,000 stars in our galaxy and many other galaxies in the universe, there’s a lot of space out there! It just helps you put into perspective how insignificant we really are in this big universe around us.

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