Aug 28, 2017

Black hole models contradicted by hands-on tests

Posted by in category: cosmology

A long-standing but unproven assumption about the X-ray spectra of black holes in space has been contradicted by hands-on experiments performed at Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine.

Z, the most energetic laboratory X-ray source on Earth, can duplicate the X-rays surrounding black holes that otherwise can be watched only from a great distance and then theorized about.

“Of course, emission directly from black holes cannot be observed,” said Sandia researcher and lead author Guillaume Loisel, lead author for a paper on the experimental results, published in August in Physical Review Letters. “We see emission from surrounding matter just before it is consumed by the black hole. This surrounding matter is forced into the shape of a disk, called an accretion disk.”

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