Jennifer Ouelette & Caleb Scharf • VS Science

June 12 - Jennifer Ouellette hosts Caleb Scharf — Director of Columbia University's multidisciplinary Astrobiology Center.

They talk about observational cosmology, X-ray astronomy, exoplanetary science, Gravity's Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos and his work in progress The Copernicus Complex (both from Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux.) Follow @Caleb_Scharf @JenLucPiquant

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Click BTR badge to listen. See questions and links from the studio audience below.

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Science writer Jennifer Ouellette indulges her inner geek by finding quirky connections between physics, popular culture, and the world at large.  She is the author of the forthcoming Me, Myself and Why: Searching for the Science of Self  (Winter 2014); The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Outbreak, Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics and The Physics of the Buffyverse, all published by Penguin. Follow @JenLucPiquant.

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Questions & Links from the Second Life Studio Audience. Responses in audio.

  • At what distance could you orbit a stellar-mass black hole in the shadow of a stable accretion disk?
  • Is it possible for event horizons to form in finite time?
  • Recently I have read about the creation of micro black holes at the LHC... if it is possible to create and "destroy" black holes on demand, how long until we weaponize them? 
  • The matter around a stellar mass black hole will be very turbulent, much like matter being subjected to a constant nuclear blast. I was just wondering if I orbited in a wiiiide orbit outside this blasting thundering vortex of super-irradiated material, what would I see? The radiation bursting out at the poles would be insanely bright. However would the accretion disk be "dark" ? Or would even the outside of the disk glow as well? 
  • Have black holes been confirmed at the LHC?
  •  I read that the particles expected to accompany the Higgs were not found, suggesting that the constants in the universe are not "natural". Please comment
  • What is Caleb’s favourite Sci Fi movie?
  • Any progress on the hypothesis about black hole firewalls?
  • http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=black-hole-firewalls-confound-theoretical-physicists
  • If gravitons exist and travel at the speed of light, doesn't that suggest that they must move toward the mass? 
  • Do black holes create new universes by "blowing bubbles" of space-time?
  •  Isn't the Universe a black hole? 
  • Galactic Engine and add in the right hand rule for torque, Galctic Gravity? G=MA ???
  • A black hole surrounded by an accretion disk will prouduce a lot of energy in the inside of the accretion disk, which will push circulating matter outward. I did see a turbulence animation here, so basicly the stuff that wants to fall into the hole would be caught in a log jam, so to speak... which makes me wonder, how long can an accretion disk for a stellar mass last? Seconds? Days? Years? Saturn's rings have been lasting a long time.... Could mini-planetary objects form for a while in the outer ring of especially big accretion disks? 
  •  If we actually had a presence in space how fast could industrial matter in space double - a double rate every how many years?
  •  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=new-physics-complications-lend-support-to-multiverse-hypothesis&WT.mc_id=SA_Facebook