By Jean-Pierre Luminet
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Additional info for Black holes
These grains permeate interstellar space, and are occasionally captured by the upper atmosphere of the Earth. The small grains end up in interstellar clouds of gas, which cool to such low temperatures that even the more volatile and abundant elements condense out on the dust grains. The refractory cores are covered with mantles of ices. About 1 per cent of the mass of the interstellar medium is in tiny solid particles, about a thousandth of the diameter of a grain of sand. The space between the stars contains clouds of diffuse gas and dust.
It is tempting to look for patterns in the sky. This after all is how the constellations were named. Scientists classify objects under study into some semblance of order. And classiﬁcation invariably provides the ﬁrst clues about origins and evolution. Galaxies come in three principal varieties. Spheroidal galaxies are red, since they only contain old stars, and are gas-poor. Disc galaxies are blue, because they are forming hot, massive stars, and contain the gas reservoir from which the new stars form.
This seems a very Platonic approach, but it has reaped dividends. Symmetry is a form of beauty, and perhaps Keats was correct in declaring ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’. Symmetry is a compelling idea that gave birth to the Standard Model of particle physics. The most natural extension of the Standard Model is an attempt to incorporate more complete ideas about symmetry into an improved model. The new theory is known as supersymmetry and postulates the existence of a host of massive weakly interacting massive particles that partner each of the known particles.
Black holes by Jean-Pierre Luminet