May 16, 2023

Accretion disk around black holes recreated in the lab

Posted by in category: cosmology

Imperial College researchers have created a spinning disk of plasma in a lab, mimicking disks found around black holes and forming stars.

The experiment more accurately models what happens in these disks, which could help researchers discover how grow and how collapsing matter forms stars.

As matter approaches black holes it heats up, becoming plasma—a fourth state of matter consisting of charged ions and . It also begins to rotate, in a structure called an accretion disk. The rotation causes a pushing the plasma outwards, which is balanced by the gravity of the black hole pulling it in.

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