Event Horizon Telescope: Imaging a Black Hole Through Global Collaboration

Speaker: Shep Doeleman, PhD, at Center for Astrophysics

Date: November 9, 2020 - 5:30PM

What can medicine learn about collaboration and data sharing from one of the most successful team science projects of all time--creating a telescope the diameter of the earth to snap an image of a black hole? Black holes are cosmic objects so massive and dense that their gravity forms an event horizon: a region of spacetime from which nothing, not even light, can escape. Einstein's theories predict that a distant observer should see a ring of light encircling the black hole, which forms when radiation emitted by infalling hot gas is lensed by the extreme gravity. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a global array of radio dishes that forms an Earth-sized virtual telescope, which can resolve the nearest supermassive black holes where this ring feature may be measured. On April 10th, 2019, the EHT project reported success: we have imaged a black hole and have seen the predicted strong gravitational lensing that confirms the theory of General Relativity at the boundary of a black hole.  This talk will describe the project, and the global collaborative approach that produced these first results, as well as future directions that will enable real-time black hole movies.

Shep Doeleman, PhD is an Astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics and the Founding Director of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, a synchronized global array of radio observatories designed to examine the nature of black holes. Dr. Doeleman led the international team of researchers that produced the first directly observed image of a black hole. Dr. Doeleman was awarded the 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics as the Founding Director of the EHT Collaboration for the first image of a supermassive black hole. Dr. Doeleman was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2019 by Time magazine.

Publications

Zhang A, Teng L, Alterovitz G. An explainable machine learning platform for pyrazinamide resistance prediction and genetic feature identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA 2020.

Geva A, Stedman JP, Manzi SF, Lin C, Savova GK, Avillach P, Mandl KD. Adverse drug event presentation and tracking (ADEPT): semiautomated, high throughput pharmacovigilance using real-world data. JAMIA open 2020.

Börcsök J, Sztupinszki Z, Bekele R, Gao SP, Diossy M, Samant AS, Dillon KM, Tisza V, Spisák S, Rusz O, Csabai I, Pappot H, Frazier ZJ, Konieczkowski DJ, Liu D, Vasani N, Rodrigues JA, Solit DB, Hoffman-Censits JH, Plimack ER, Rosenberg JE, Lazaro JB, Taplin ME, Iyer G, Brunak S, Lozsa R, Van Allen EM, Szüts D, Mouw KW, Szallasi Z. Identification of a synthetic lethal relationship between nucleotide excision repair (NER) deficiency and irofulven sensitivity in urothelial cancer. Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2020.

Gokuldass A, Draghi A, Papp K, Borch TH, Nielsen M, Westergaard MCW, Andersen R, Schina A, Bol KF, Chamberlain CA, Presti M, Met Ö, Harbst K, Lauss M, Soraggi S, Csabai I, Szállási Z, Jönsson G, Svane IM, Donia M. Qualitative Analysis of Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes across Human Tumor Types Reveals a Higher Proportion of Bystander CD8 T Cells in Non-Melanoma Cancers Compared to Melanoma. Cancers 2020.

Perera G, Rijnbeek PR, Alexander M, Ansell D, Avillach P, Duarte-Salles T, Gordon MF, Lapi F, Mayer MA, Pasqua A, Pedersen L, van Der Lei J, Visser PJ, Stewart R. Vascular and metabolic risk factor differences prior to dementia diagnosis: a multidatabase case-control study using European electronic health records. BMJ open 2020.