Black Holes and the Fundamental Laws of Physics – with Jerome Gauntlett

Share it with your friends Like

Thanks! Share it with your friends!


Black holes are extraordinary and may even hold the key to unlocking the next phase in our understanding of the laws of physics.
Watch the Q&A here:
Subscribe for regular science videos:

Black holes are amongst the most extraordinary objects that are known to exist in the universe. Jerome Gauntlett will discuss their fascinating properties and describe the dramatic recent observations of black holes using gravitational waves. He will also explain why it is believed that black holes hold the key to unlocking the next level of our understanding of the fundamental laws of physics.

Jerome Gauntlett is a professor of theoretical physics at Imperial College. His principal research interests are focussed on string theory, quantum field theory and black holes. Most recently he has been investigating whether string theory techniques can be used to study exotic states of matter that arise in condensed matter physics. He was Head of the Theoretical Physics Group at Imperial from 2011-2016.

He was the theoretical physics consultant for the film The Theory of Everything and he has an Erdos-Bacon number of six (having written a paper with Shing-Tung Yau and appeared in the film Windrider with Nicole Kidman).

The Ri is on Twitter:
and Facebook:
and Tumblr:
Our editorial policy:
Subscribe for the latest science videos:


Little Monk says:

I could not watch this because of the nooching sound the speaker makes into the mic every minute. Extremely annoying.

Orlando Saint-Sebastien says:

A fundamental law of the universe is no matter how carefully you have prepared your powerpoint, the software you finally use to project it will stuff up some of  your slides.

knives564 says:

He says charged matter would neutralize the black hole so does that mean if we somehow got enough of it to a black hole we could then theoretically get it back to its previous star form or at least to a physically stable form?

kindlin says:

6:48, So, by studying the motion of yur-anus…

Maybe it's an accent thing, but man, there are so many better ways you could pronounce Uranus. (I go with Yur-uh-nus)

Mancobbler says:

When not even one person giggled at “studying the motion of Uranus”

VikShade the Technolich says:

okay, I made it to 53 minutes of this fascinating lecture through all that lip smacking. I can't take it anymore. maybe I can finish another day. 🙁

carl gangl says:

Black holes show the speed of light is not constant by slowing it down and reversing it. Further it is my theory matter is in a compressed plasma state giving it such a extreme gravity force for there size. And the gyro effect of precession is a disturbing force similar to a generator needing force to make electric.

kodas JB says:

"Black Holes and the Fundamental Laws of Physics ". Good article of guesses that can not be proved or disproved. I am not scientist in this field but I thing Black Holes as described contradict to Fundamental Laws of Physics. So what is the point? How Jerome Gauntlett knows the Black Holes collide and what happens? It sounds to me as if somebody is reading me the Old Testament.


Theory can mean anything. This is theory with man made toys.


Speed of light period and changes minute to minute

Gary Wilson says:

I love all the armchair “physicists” proclaiming to be right over what is said in this video, the collected knowledge and ideas of people far, far more inquisitive and bright than them.

Nii P. says:

"There is many black holes…", "there is two laser beams…", "…there is many of them.",… asf.
Did i miss something in my English lessons? I'm not a native, so maybe I'm wrong, but isn't there a so called "plural-version" to be used, which is pronounced as "*are*"? Does something has been changed in the English grammar, which would lead to this result: "We is now speaking English."?

RexNunc says:


BlackKNyT says:

Black Holes of the kind we imagine don't exist and should not exist, though they are fascinating indeed.

Piotr Kowalczyk says:

Wow, the best lecture I've seen in a long time!

Mac McG says:

Without clarification there is no understanding.  Confucius was right!… "To know a thing and recognize you know it… AND when you do not know a thing, to recognize you DO NOT know it…. this is knowledge.

Matthew Shrader says:

I have a question. So is a black hole a miniature version of space before the big bang? If it is then something doesn't make sense to me. Once pass the event horizon nothing can escape right? Furthermore the more mass the Black hole contains the more powerful the gravitational force right? So we are talking about all the mass of everything that ever existed in a space I believe I've heard to be micro in size. The gravity of such should have been extremely phenomenal. So if nothing can escape the smallest of black holes we know of today and I mean absolutely nothing. No matter the amount of energy. Then what possible energy could have set the explosion in place to form everything we know of today with such an amount of gravity holding it firmly in place? To me it doesn't add up. I'm open minded here. Somebody please explain this. Does the energy created by a black hole ever exceed the gravitational pull?

Jesse Crotts says:

That's not a black hole. It's a star with a Dyson Sphere around it.

Chris Daly says:

The moon isn't falling to earth. Every year the moon moves 4 cm AWAY from the earth. So………WRONG

Floyd Maxwell says:

Once you've read Alexander Unzicker's "Bankrupting Physics" and "The Higgs Fake", talks like this — claiming to have measured gravity waves — become ludicrous.

My OpenMind says:

Wouldn’t you love to see Newton shown / taught what we now know of maths and physics and see what he would make of it.

Sean Kelly says:

Conclusion: Black holes exist because the LIGO says so. What if the LIGO results are a fake ? The 10 milliseconds setting the 2 measurements apart are very suspicious. Think of why. Then you will understand the fake.

crasychat says:

I love this lecture but I cannot stand the sound he makes every time he starts speaking sooo annoying to me but still great video

Fadi Kh says:

when u talk newton and einstein, i skip.

Aner Ben-Artzi says:

Why isn't the mass of the galaxy-center black hole known more precisely? 3-4 million solar masses is quite a margin of error.

houndofzoltan says:

Newton was wrong: the moon is not falling towards the earth it's moving away from the earth. The word 'fall' as Newton, I and Oxford English Dictionary think of it means to move from a higher to a lower position, but still people who don't think for themselves still follow the convention of describing the moon as 'falling' around the earth: if his cannon ball never touched the earth it would around the earth, not forever ' falling' to the earth.

Write a comment