Neutron stars and black holes: The physics of the extremely dense
Scott Hughes, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Astrophysics provides us with laboratories for testing environments far more extreme than we can construct on earth. Some of the most interesting such laboratories come from matter than is crushed to extreme densities, giving us neutron stars (stellar mass objects with the density of atomic nuclei) and black holes (a gravitational singularity left behind when gravity overwhelms all other physical processes). In this talk, I will describe both the theoretical and observational evidence for these objects, including discussion of how they can be used as probes of physical law, and new techniques that are being developed to study them in the universe.
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