EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES / AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES / AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Karl Schwarzschild (1873-1916), German astronomer and physicist. Schwarzchild, a child prodigy, had his paper on celestial mechanics published at just 16 years old. He later produced solutions to the partial differential equations in Einstein's general theory of relativity. He also showed that when a star contracts under gravity, there is a critical stage at which the gravitational field is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape. This is known as the Schwarzchild radius. Stars that contract to below this point form black holes. Photographed in his study at Potsdam, Germany.
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