By: DYLAN LEMERT
The mysteries of the universe are as vast and complex as anything we can imagine. But they’re exactly the sort of mysteries IU South Bend Professors Rolf Schimmrigk and Monika Lynker thrive on.
The annual Distinguished Research Award, which has been given since 1998, aims to honor IUSB faculty members who have served at least eight years studying a particular discipline.
The 2013 recipients of the award, Schimmrigk, associate professor of astronomy at IUSB, and Lynker, professor of astronomy and physics, gave a lecture titled “Why Black Holes are Not Black,” which was open to the public and took place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, in Wiekamp room 1001.
The lecture gave an introduction to black holes and their properties and explored some of the theories behind why black holes are more dynamic than science has previously been led to believe.
“Black holes are not black. They radiate, they have a temperature,” Schimmrigk said, in an attempt to dissuade the notion that black holes are devoid of all matter and energy.
Recent findings also indicate the temperature of a black hole is not completely zero, though it remains extremely minute.
“The temperature is very small, so small it’s almost a principle,” Schimmrigk said.
Schimmrigk and Lynkers’ research is built upon ideas and equations first proposed by the likes of Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.
“When it comes to black holes, we can compute things but we can’t really imagine all that they’re capable of,” said Schimmrigk, who has given over 70 talks on the topic.
Astronomy and physics students at IUSB also contribute to the study of black holes on a continual basis.