Why black holes don’t suck

THE universe is full of holes. Black holes.

Well, they’re not really holes – it’s a bit of a misleading name, to be honest. Black holes are not holes as we understand the term – they’re not filled with nothing. In fact, they’re anything but empty.

A black hole is what we call it when a huge amount of matter has been packed tight into a small space. Think of it as three of our suns, all squeezed together into a space small enough to fit a city in. A bit squashed, truth be told. Continue reading

Searching for answers

IF you’re interested in science, you may have heard of a place in Europe called CERN.

CERN is the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, called CERN because it’s also known, in French, as the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, or European Council for Nuclear Research. I suppose CERN trips better off the tongue, French or otherwise.

Taking up a large part of the French/Swiss border, near Geneva, the CERN organisation was actually set up in 1952, hence the ‘nuclear’ bit in the name (we now know more about particles than just nuclei), and involves an impressive 21 European countries as members.

The aim of CERN is to seek answers to the fundamental questions of life itself, such as what is the universe made of, how did it begin, and why do so many people worship Kim Kardashian (OK, I made that last bit up, but I think they should look into it). Continue reading