Effects of Black Holes on the Space-Time Continuum
Project by Polygence alum Aliza
The outcome of this project was to create a research paper analyzing how black holes affect the space-time continuum. The project was published in the Scholar Launch Preprint Archive and is accepted for publication at the Journal of Student Research.
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Black holes are one of nature's greatest mysteries. For years, these celestial bodies have evaded scientists due to their intense gravity and extreme density. A specific area of black hole research that is overlooked is how these cosmic bodies affect the space-time continuum. Developing a complete understanding of space-time in and around black holes is essential for future research relating to black holes and combining the two great theories of this generation: general relativity and quantum mechanics. This paper aims to analyze how the space-time continuum is distorted by black holes and explain the applications that space-time around black holes has to modern physics. It first develops an understanding of space-time linkage and curvature through Einstein’s theories of relativity and presents the geometry of space-time as predicted by Minkowski’s equation. When inside a black hole, space and time essentially trade places so that the flow of time causes matter to be drawn within a black hole. As one explores further toward the centre of a black hole, curvature increases until it is predicted by general relativity to reach a gravitational singularity where density becomes infinite, and the laws of space-time break down. In the paper, the discrepancy between general relativity and quantum mechanics is explored through Hawking Radiation and the theoretical singularity at a black hole's centre. A combination of written explanations, math models, and diagrams are used to communicate how the space-time continuum is affected by black holes.
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Review of mentor
My mentor was extremely helpful in guiding me through the process of this project. She provided me with detailed feedback and answered all my questions with a high degree of effectiveness. She helped me become more excited for my future in astrophysics and made my experience with Polygence interesting and fun. She gave me information on how a future in physics might look and made me very excited to pursue a future of research.
One aspect of the Polygence research program that exceeded my expectations was how supportive my mentor was and the resources provided. I like that the Polygence program has a blog in which it shares tips about college admissions and how to showcase your project and I also like the detailed feedback given to me throughout the process. Some aspects that met my expectations are the organized structure of the program and the reminders that are set to keep the project on task.