Historical Perspectives On Contemporary Issues
Behind the Scenes: Black Holes | The Edge of All We Know
2021 Albert M. Greenfield Forum in the History of Science
What can black holes teach us about the boundaries of knowledge? These holes in spacetime are the darkest objects and the brightest—the simplest and the most complex. With unprecedented access, Black Holes | The Edge of All We Know follows two powerhouse collaborations. Stephen Hawking anchors one, striving to show that black holes do not annihilate the past. Another group, working in the world’s highest altitude observatories, creates an earth-sized telescope to capture the first-ever image of a black hole. Interwoven with other dimensions of exploring black holes, these stories bring us to the pinnacle of humanity’s quest to understand the universe.
In this video, historians of science Lorraine Daston and Simon Schaffer join Peter Galison for a roundtable discussion about the film, its scientific, philosophical and artistic content, and the choices Peter made as director. Afterwards, Peter Galison answers questions about the film from friends of the Consortium.
The movie, Black Holes | The Edge of All We Know, is available now on Netflix, or go to https://www.blackholefilm.com to learn about the movie, and find other options for viewing it.
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To cite this content, please use footnote:
"Behind the Scenes: Black Holes | The Edge of All We Know," Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine, accessed Month Day, Year, https://www.chstm.org/video/120.
News stories related to this forum
The archive of Stephen Hawking has been saved for the nation - Cambridge University Libraries, May 27, 2021
Astronomers Image Magnetic Fields at the Edge of M87's Black Hole - Event Horizon Telescope, March 24, 2021
Insights from the Collections
The Consortium's collections provide many opportunities to learn more about the history of astrophysics, astronomy, and the science of black holes.
Our cross-instiutional search tool allows researchers to investigate materials across multiple institutions from a single interface. With more than 4.4 million catalog records of rare books and manuscripts, the Consortium's search hub offers scholars and the public the ability to identify and locate relevant materials.
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Some archival materials related to this topic include:
William A. Fowler Papers, Caltech Archives
John Archibald Wheeler Papers, American Philosophical Society
Measuring spacetime: From the Big Bang to black holes, by Max Tegmark, American Philosophical Society Library
Oral History Interview with Dennis William Sciama, April 14, 1978, American Institute of Physics
Oral History Interview with Allan Sandage, May 16, 1974, American Institute of Physics
Oral History Interview with Roger Penrose, January 24, 1989, American Institute of Physics
Oral History Interview with Don Page, December 31, 1988, American Institute of Physics
See also recent work from our fellows:
Joanna Behrman, A Comparative Analysis of Women's Higher Education in Physics