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Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2024: The BHI’s Own Priya Natarajan

Shep Doeleman | Time
April 17, 2024

For astronomers, seeing evidence in the sky of something predicted from pure theory brings with it a special joy. A burst of excitement as a puzzle piece falls into place.

In November, a novel approach developed years ago by Priyamvada Natarajan brought us closer to under­standing a basic mystery in astron­omy: How do the supermassive black holes that lurk at the centers of most galaxies form? She had speculated that they might have gotten a jump start in the very early universe if clouds of gas collapsed to form massive black-hole “seeds” that then grew within their host galaxies over billions of years. It took the piercing gaze of the James Webb Space Telescope to finally observe a galaxy so far back in cosmic time, and with a central black hole so massive, that what scientists saw could be explained naturally by Priya’s theory.

Full article can be found here.

Join us for the 7th Annual Black Hole Initiative Conference.

May 29-31, 2024

Gutman Conference Center, Cambridge, MA USA

Crossing the horizons of Black Hole Studies from the perspective of Astrophysics, Physics, Mathematics, Philosophy, and History of Science. Featuring: Adam Levine, Alex Maloney, Ana-Maria Raclariu, Ben Freivogel, Bernard Carr, Chiara Mingarelli, Dennis Overbye, Emily Liepold, Hong Liu, Jamee Elder, John Mather, Julian Sonner, Kimberly Arcand, Manus Visser, Mina Himwich, Niels Martens, Phil Hopkins, Rafaella Margutti, Sara Issaoun, Stefan Hollands, Surya Raghavendran, Thomas Ryckman, Tiziana di Matteo, Yambe Tam, and Robert Wald