Michell, Laplace and the origin of the black hole concept

Montgomery, Colin, Orchiston, Wayne, and Whittingham, Ian (2009) Michell, Laplace and the origin of the black hole concept. Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, 12 (2). pp. 90-96.

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Black holes are fundamental to our understanding of modern astrophysics, yet the origin of this concept can be traced back to the writings of England’s John Michell and France’s Pierre-Simon Laplace in 1784 and 1796 respectively. Both independently postulated the existence of “non-luminous bodies”, and while Michell used graphical methods to explain his concept, Laplace published a mathematical ‘proof’ in 1799.

Item ID: 9892
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-2807
Keywords: Michell; Laplace; black holes; missing mass; dark matter
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Reproduced with permission from Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage.

Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2010 01:56
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