Black holes possess gravitational fields so strong that not even light can escape their event horizons, rendering them 'invisible'. For more than a century, black holes were assumed to exist, yet their direct observational confirmation remained elusive. The notion of imaging a black hole was thought to be the realm of science fiction. However, in April 2019 the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration stunned the world with the first ever image of a black hole.
In this talk I will explain how we are now able to capture images of black holes using the Event Horizon Telescope, discuss what we have learned from these new images, and explore how future observations will advance our understanding of the origins of space, time, and the Universe itself.
Ziri Younsi is a UKRI Stephen Hawking Fellow at University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory. After graduating from the University of Cambridge and subsequently UCL, he began working within the Event Horizon Telescope in 2014, first as a Humboldt Fellow at the University of Frankfurt and later as a Leverhulme Trust Fellow at UCL.
His research programme focuses on calculations and computer simulations of black hole systems, underpinning the Event Horizon Telescope's interpretation of black hole images. He is a co-recipient of the 2020 Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics and the Royal Astronomical Society's 2021 Group Achievement Award. Within the Event Horizon Telescope, Ziri serves on the project's Science Council and co-chairs the Gravitational Physics working group.