Black hole with corona and X-Ray source
(artist concept)

The Black Hole Initiative (BHI) is an interdisciplinary center at Harvard University that includes the fields of astronomy, physics, and philosophy, and is claimed to be the first center in the world to focus on the study of black holes.[1][2][3] Principal participants include Sheperd S. Doeleman, Peter Galison, Avi Loeb, Andrew Strominger and Shing-Tung Yau.[1] The BHI inauguration was held on 18 April 2016 and attended by Stephen Hawking;[4] related workshop events were held on 19 April 2016.[1] Robbert Dijkgraaf created the mural for the BHI Inauguration.[5]

The BHI is funded by the John Templeton Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Harvard University allocated office space for the BHI on the second floor of 20 Garden Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The BHI is an independent Center within the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Harvard University.

If determinism — the predictability of the universe — breaks down in black holes, it could break down in other situations. Even worse, if determinism breaks down, we can’t be sure of our past history either. The history books and our memories could just be illusions. It is the past that tells us who we are. Without it, we lose our identity.

— Stephen Hawking, BHI Inauguration, Harvard University, 18 April 2016[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Staff (2017). "Black Hole Initiative - Harvard University". Harvard University. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  2. ^ Grigorian, Alec J. (11 May 2016). "Black Hole Initiative Receives $7.2 Million in Funding". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  3. ^ Staff (2016). "The Black Hole Initiative: Towards A Center For Interdisciplinary Research". John Templeton Foundation. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b Reuell, Peter (18 April 2016). "Hawking at Harvard - At packed Sanders Theatre, theoretical physicist and cosmologist tackles the contradictory qualities of black holes". Harvard University. Retrieved 18 November 2017.
  5. ^ Staff (18 April 2016). "Robbert Dijkgraaf Creates Mural for Black Hole Initiative". Institute for Advanced Study. Retrieved 18 November 2017.