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May 5 2013

Black hole binge could test general relativity


CRACKS in Einstein's theory of relativity could be evident at the heart of our very own galaxy. If new calculations are correct, the enormous black hole that sits at the core of the Milky Way should have Saturn-like rings that offer a safe haven from its irresistible gravitational pull.

Einstein came out with his theory of general relativity in 1916. It describes how the effects of gravity emerge from the way space-time is shaped. It has passed every test thrown at it including the latest, this week but many physicists still believe general relativity has a chink in its armour. That's because the theory is incompatible with quantum mechanics, the other pillar of modern physics.

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