Black Holes

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Author: Judee Shipman

Grade Level: 9th - 12th; Type: Astronomy/Physics


Study black holes.

The goals of this project are:

  1. To define and illustrate the properties of black holes in space.
  2. To make predictions and calculations based on what we know about black holes.

Research Questions:

  • What causes black holes to occur?
  • How are black holes detected?
  • What can we learn from black holes?
  • How can this knowledge be practically applied?

A black hole is a super-dense celestial body whose gravity is so strong that not even a single particle of light can escape. The body is so dense that a tiny speck of dust from a black hole would weigh many million tons. Black holes were discovered by Stephen Hawking, who proved their existence by way of inference. In this project you will study black holes and devise your own thought experiment.


  • Computer with Internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Carefully study the related literature (see bibliography below).
  2. Address all of the terms and research questions mentioned here.
  3. Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
  4. Devise your own original thought experiment about black holes.
  5. Analyze your data.
  6. Prepare a detailed report.
  7. Include graphics, diagrams, and models in your science fair display. 

Terms/Concepts: Black Holes; Stephen Hawking; Theoretical physics;Thought experiment


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