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Inaugural lecture Mr Prof R.M. Mendez: It's a kind of magic: From illusion to knowledge

When:Tu 15-03-2016 at 16:15
Where:Aula Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Mariano Mendez
Mariano Mendez

Imagine I told you that I have an investment opportunity that will pay you back 1100% of the amount you invest per year. Yes, you read correctly: one thousand one hundred percent per year; compare that with less than 1% you get from saving accounts nowadays. I would also tell you that this is an extremely low-risk investment: It has been paying about the same rate every year for, at least, the last 50 years. I bet you would tell me: “Wait a minute, what’s the catch?” And would you still trust me if I told you that the story involves a Nigerian, Dr. Romanus Eze, son of the late…? “Okay, wait a minute.” you would interrupt me “I know this scam. And in the end you are only an astronomer. What do you know about investments?”


Fine; let me then talk to you first about what I am supposed to know, and come back to this investment story later on. Here I go: Because no radiation can escape from them, we may never be able to observe a black hole directly; yet black holes “radiate” an appeal that continues to captivate scientists and laypersons alike. This is a complex topic, but I will try and explain some interesting, yet relatively simple, ideas that will help the audience understand, at least in a generic way, what a black hole is.

You may now think: “Huh, this guy is weird; what he wrote makes no sense. One thing has nothing to do with the other.” You may be right… or perhaps not. Let me explain…

More information

  • Title: It's a kind of magic: From illusion to knowledge
  • Chair: High-Energy Astrophysics
  • Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences
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