To me, Dr. Mathur’s ability to so clearly and concisely explain astrophysics concepts was almost more amazing than the subject matter itself. I’ve known generally what a black hole is and that Stephen Hawking became well known in part due to his work on them, but why there might be black holes, how they functioned, and what Stephen Hawking’s research on them was weren’t questions I had thought much of. If I had, I probably would have assumed that these things would be completely beyond my understanding before Dr. Mathur’s lecture.
Dr. Mathur suggested that a “string star” model would work better at explaining how black holes work than Hawking’s model, where density could be infinite within a black hole’s event horizon anwhere, with a small enough radius and strong enough gravity, new particles could “pop” into existence. Whether they end up being true or not, these hypotheses were pretty fascinating to me.