Physics:Timeline of black hole physics

From HandWiki

Timeline of black hole physics

Pre-20th century

20th century

Before 1960s


  • 1963 — Roy Kerr solves the Einstein vacuum field equations for uncharged symmetric rotating systems, deriving the Kerr metric for a rotating black hole
  • 1963 — Maarten Schmidt discovers and analyzes the first quasar, 3C 273, as a highly red-shifted active galactic nucleus, a billion light years away
  • 1964 — Roger Penrose proves that an imploding star will necessarily produce a singularity once it has formed an event horizon
  • 1964 — Yakov Zel’dovich and independently Edwin Salpeter propose that accretion discs around supermassive black holes are responsible for the huge amounts of energy radiated by quasars[1]
  • 1964 — Hong-Yee Chiu coins the word quasar for a 'quasi-stellar radio source' in his article in Physics Today
  • 1964 — The first recorded use of the term "black hole", by journalist Ann Ewing
  • 1965 — Ezra T. Newman, E. Couch, K. Chinnapared, A. Exton, A. Prakash, and Robert Torrence solve the Einstein–Maxwell field equations for charged rotating systems
  • 1966 — Yakov Zel’dovich and Igor Novikov propose searching for black hole candidates among binary systems in which one star is optically bright and X-ray dark and the other optically dark but X-ray bright (the black hole candidate)[1]
  • 1967 — Jocelyn Bell discovers and analyzes the first radio pulsar, direct evidence for a neutron star[2]
  • 1967 — Werner Israel presents the proof of the no-hair theorem at King's College London
  • 1967 — John Wheeler introduces the term "black hole" in his lecture to the American Association for the Advancement of Science[1]
  • 1968 — Brandon Carter uses Hamilton–Jacobi theory to derive first-order equations of motion for a charged particle moving in the external fields of a Kerr–Newman black hole
  • 1969 — Roger Penrose discusses the Penrose process for the extraction of the spin energy from a Kerr black hole
  • 1969 — Roger Penrose proposes the cosmic censorship hypothesis

After 1960s

  • 1972 — Identification of Cygnus X-1/HDE 226868 from dynamic observations as the first binary with a stellar black hole candidate
  • 1972 — Stephen Hawking proves that the area of a classical black hole's event horizon cannot decrease
  • 1972 — James Bardeen, Brandon Carter, and Stephen Hawking propose four laws of black hole mechanics in analogy with the laws of thermodynamics
  • 1972 — Jacob Bekenstein suggests that black holes have an entropy proportional to their surface area due to information loss effects
  • 1974 — Stephen Hawking applies quantum field theory to black hole spacetimes and shows that black holes will radiate particles with a black-body spectrum which can cause black hole evaporation
  • 1975 — James Bardeen and Jacobus Petterson show that the swirl of spacetime around a spinning black hole can act as a gyroscope stabilizing the orientation of the accretion disc and jets[1]
  • 1989 — Identification of microquasar V404 Cygni as a binary black hole candidate system
  • 1994 — Charles Townes and colleagues observe ionized neon gas swirling around the center of our Galaxy at such high velocities that a possible black hole mass at the very center must be approximately equal to that of 3 million suns[3]

21st century


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Thorne, Kip S. (1994). Black holes and time warps : Einstein's outrageous legacy. New York. ISBN 0393035050. OCLC 28147932. 
  2. Ferrarese, Laura; Ford, Holland (February 2005). "Supermassive Black Holes in Galactic Nuclei: Past, Present and Future Research". Space Science Reviews 116 (3–4): 523–624. doi:10.1007/s11214-005-3947-6. Bibcode2005SSRv..116..523F. "it is fair to say that the single most influential event contributing to the acceptance of black holes was the 1967 discovery of pulsars by graduate student Jocelyn Bell. The clear evidence of the existence of neutron stars – which had been viewed with much skepticism until then – combined with the presence of a critical mass above which stability cannot be achieved, made the existence of stellar-mass black holes inescapable.". 
  3. Genzel, R; Hollenbach, D; Townes, C H (1994-05-01). "The nucleus of our Galaxy". Reports on Progress in Physics 57 (5): 417–479. doi:10.1088/0034-4885/57/5/001. ISSN 0034-4885. Bibcode1994RPPh...57..417G. 
  4. [1] Scientific American – Big Gulp: Flaring Galaxy Marks the Messy Demise of a Star in a Supermassive Black Hole

See also