Evidence has been accumulating for several decades that many galaxies harbor central mass concentrations that may be in the form of black holes with masses between a few million to a few billion time the mass of the Sun.
In this public lecture, Professor Genzel discusses measurements over the last two decades, employing high resolution infrared and radio imaging and spectroscopy on large ground-based telescopes that prove the existence of such a massive black hole in the centre of our Milky Way, beyond any reasonable doubt. These data also provide key insights into its properties and environment.
Future interferometric studies of the Galactic Center black hole promise to be able to test gravity in its strong field limit. Professor Genzel also briefly summarizes the cosmological evolution of massive black holes.
This event is brought to you by the Australian Institute of Physics and the Black Hole Society, and took place on Monday 27 July 2009.