Schwarze Löcher verschlucken alles, was ihnen zu nahe kommt: Licht ebenso wie Gas, Staub und sogar ganze Sterne. Das klingt recht einfach. Doch die Natur von schwarzen Löchern ist vertrackt. Maria Rodriguez, Minerva-Gruppenleiterin am Max-Planck-Institut für Gravitationsphysik in Golm, will das eine oder andere Rätsel der kosmischen Exoten lösen.
Albert Einstein was right: gravitational waves really do exist. They were detected on September 14, 2015. This, on the other hand, would have surprised Einstein, as he believed they were too weak to ever be measured. The researchers were therefore all the more delighted – particularly those at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, which played a major role in the discovery.
Albert Einstein postulated the existence of gravitational waves a century ago in his theory of general relativity, but these distortions in space-time have so far stubbornly resisted direct observation. At the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hannover, Karsten Danzmann is tracking down this phenomenon with the GEO600 detector.
The properties of one particle can determine those of another even though the two are miles apart and don’t exchange any information. What appears to be a spooky phenomenon is what physicists call entanglement, and they have already observed it in small particles. Now Roman Schnabel, a professor at Leibniz Universität Hannover and at the nearby Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), aims to entangle two heavy mirrors.
A theory of everything is the Holy Grail of physicists. Yet, in the search for this theory that unites all forces, they are brought up short by the limits of what the human mind can actually grasp. Today, loop quantum gravity is considered a promising candidate for the solution to this problem. Thomas Thiemann from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam is one of its leading proponents worldwide.
Theoreticians at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Golm near Potsdam have succeeded in calculationg the shape and intensity of gravitational waves emitted by two black holes coalescing with one another. Ther results are crucial for the success of the German-British gravitational wave detector GEO600.