Sidmouth Science Festival - A Brief History of Black Holes - Dr Becky Smethurst
In A Brief History of Black Holes University of Oxford astrophysicist, Dr Becky Smethurst charts the scientific breakthroughs that have uncovered the weird and wonderful world of black holes, from the collapse of massive stars to the iconic first photographs of a black hole in 2019. A cosmic tale of discovery, you’ll learn: why black holes aren’t really ‘black’, that you never ever want to be ‘spaghettified’, how black holes are more like sofa cushions than hoovers, and why beyond the event horizon, the future is a direction in space rather than in time. Full of wit and learning, this captivating book explains why black holes contain the secrets to the most profound questions about our universe.
Dr Becky Smethurst is an award-winning astrophysicist and science communicator at the University of Oxford, specialising in how galaxies co-evolve with their supermassive black holes. She was recently awarded the Royal Astronomical Society’s Research Fellowship for 2022. Her YouTube channel, ‘Dr Becky’, has over 400,000 subscribers who engage with her videos on weird objects in space, the history of science and monthly recaps of space news.
A Brief History of Black Holes is her second book; her first, Space: 10 Things You Should Know was named one of Sky at Night magazine’s Top 20 books of 2019 and translated all around the world. Becky presents The Supermassive Podcast in association with the Royal Astronomical Society, receiving thousands of listens every month. She regularly appears on national television and radio to explain the latest space news stories and has been an expert featured on The Sky at Night on the BBC.