Scientists attempt to mimic black holes in US laboratory
As part of a 2.35-million-pound project looking at how matter and energy interact, scientists are to mimic black holes in a laboratory on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
A team at Heriot-Watt University will be producing laser pulses whose energy is measured in trillions of watts.
They will be used to simulate conditions found around a black hole - a place where gravity is so strong that light cannot escape and the normal laws of physics break down.
"What we are creating is the same space-time structure which characterises a black hole. But we' are doing this with a light pulse, so we don't actually have the mass which is associated with black holes," the Independent quoted Daniele Faccio, the lead scientist, as saying.
"Gravitational black holes are generated by a collapsing star. We don't actually have this collapsing star, so there's no danger of being sucked into the black holes we are generating here," Faccio added.