Prof. James Pickett, a prominent theoretical physicist at the Sorbonne University, Paris, was following the live e-announcement of the first photograph of a black hole (the holy grail of the field) in a distant galaxy. As the first picture began to appear on his computer-screen, he adjusted all the control buttons (magnification, brightness, and orientation) to feel as close as he could be to the real thing. The background announcer explained how in the illuminated lower portion, the forceful gravity was bending light to enter into the central death-zone of total darkness in the middle, from where nothing could escape. What amazed him most was the intergalactic entanglement of light and darkness. Prof. Pickett felt a shiver flowing down his spine.
Later in the month, Prof. Pickett flew to Mumbai, India to deliver an invited lecture at the country’s prestigious atomic research institution BARC. His hosts arranged for him to stay in one of the prominent hotels of the city, frequented by foreigners, popular movie stars, and cricket players. However, this multi-religious and multi-ethnic, but secular country had been on an emergency alert, due to a recent border-confrontation with its religious neighbor and subsequent fear of any extremist group’s infiltration. Continue reading “The Black Hole”