New Black Hole Theory Could Overthrow Einstein's Theory of Gravity

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A growing black hole, called a quasar, can be seen at the center of a faraway galaxy in this artist's concept. NASA telescopes discovered similar quasars hiding in galaxies in the distant universe.
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For most of us, black holes are far-off things in the universe—gravitational suction monsters that characters on Star Trek and Doctor Who try desperately to steer clear of.

But for the physicists of the world, black holes are more than the stuff of sci-fi adventures. They’re proof that Einstein’s theory of gravity is real.

That is, until now.

Joseph Polchinski is part of a four-man team that’s rethinking our ideas about black holes—in the process, he and his team might overthrow Einstein’s theory of gravity.

Polchinski is Professor of Physics at the University of California-Santa Barbara. He joins The Takeaway to discuss the ways this new theory about black holes differs from prior theories, and how the rest of the physics world is reacting.