Magnetic ‘Balding’ of Black Holes Saves General Relativity Prediction

Simons Foundation, July 2021

Black holes aren’t what they eat. Einstein’s general relativity predicts that no matter what a black hole consumes, its external properties depend only on its mass, rotation and electric charge. All other details about its diet disappear. Astrophysicists whimsically call this the no-hair conjecture. (Black holes, they say, “have no hair.”)

David Spergel Takes the Helm as President of the Simons Foundation

Simons Foundation, July 2021

Astrophysicist David Spergel began his tenure today as president of the Simons Foundation, one of the largest charitable organizations in the United States, with assets of $4.6 billion. Spergel takes the reins from Simons Foundation co-founders Marilyn and Jim Simons. Since the philanthropy’s launch in 1994, Marilyn Simons served as foundation president, overseeing administration as well as outreach and education; and Jim Simons oversaw all scientific grantmaking units of the foundation and the activities of the foundation’s new computational center, the Flatiron Institute.

Shrinking Planets Could Explain Mystery of Universe’s Missing Worlds

Simons Foundation, May 2021

There’s been a breakthrough in the case of the missing planets. While planet-hunting missions have discovered thousands of worlds orbiting distant stars, there’s a severe scarcity of exoplanets that measure between 1.5 and two times Earth’s radius. That’s the middle ground between rocky super-Earths and larger, gas-shrouded planets called mini-Neptunes. Since discovering this ‘radius gap’ in 2017, scientists have been sleuthing out why there are so few midsize heavenly bodies.