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Simulated Black Holes Collide


black hole collision simulation

This computer image is based on black hole simulations by a team of 13 LSU researchers and students. The image visualizes two black holes colliding in space while generating massive gravitational waves.

Credit: Werner Benger

It's something that happens all the time, but nobody ever sees: the collision of two black holes in space. Louisiana State University students and researchers have created an award-winning computer simulation of such a collision and the gravitational waves the event would generate.

The simulation is just one practical, "real world" application of a computer program the students and researchers have created using super computers to solve complex problems, said LSU Center for Computation and Technology professor Gabrielle Allen. The computer visualization of two black holes colliding was only a fraction of the project, Allen said. The project was the culmination of a mix of astrophysics, computer science and mathematical work involving equations written by Albert Einstein that are so complex, they can't be written down on paper, Allen said.

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