Katherine Blundell OBE, a Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford and a Research Fellow at St John’s College, Oxford, is giving the Dorothy Hodgkin Memorial Lecture 2019. She will describe how black holes give rise to quasars and other remarkable phenomena.

The popular notion of a black hole “sucking in everything” from its surroundings only happens very close to a black hole, Professor Blundell writes.

Far away, the pull of the black hole is identical to that of anything else of the same mass.

However, black holes do give rise to many remarkable phenomena such as extragalactic quasars and, in our own Galaxy, microquasars.

This is because gravity is not the only law of physics that must be obeyed. Matter can be spun off from near black holes in the form of winds and jets that spread through their surroundings and thus cause black holes to have tremendous cosmic influence many light years beyond their event horizons.

I will describe various approaches that I employ to investigate these phenomena, and their spin-offs.

All are welcome at the lecture at Oxford University’s Natural History Museum on March 6, 5pm.

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