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Supermassive studies

Astrophysicist Todd Thompson sets us straight on the facts about black holes, so often the subject of legend and science fiction.

Todd Thompson’s research is unworldly. His subjects are nearly impossible to see and sometimes light years away. They could even easily devour a star. But Thompson, theoretical astrophysicist and professor in the Department of Astronomy, has become an expert on these black holes scattered around the universe. The mysterious giants — dense accumulations of mass where the gravity is so strong that nothing can escape them, not even light — have tugged at our attention since the early 20th century and Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which allowed for the existence of such phenomena. Thompson brings some myths back down to earth and reveals facts that are stranger than fiction surrounding black holes.

Matt Stoessner

About the author

Kaylin Hynes

Kaylin Hynes ’19 is the associate editor at in Chicago. Previously, she was an intern at The Ohio State Alumni Magazine and served as the copy desk chief at The Lantern from 2018-19.