Exploring Black Holes, Where The Laws of Physics Breakdown : Short Wave Black holes are one of the most beguiling objects in our universe. What are they exactly? How do they affect the universe? And what would it be like to fall into one? We venture beyond the point of no return with Yale astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan, into a fascinating world of black holes — where the laws of physics break down.

Talk the mysteries of our universe with Short Wave reporter Emily Kwong on Twitter @emilykwong1234. Email the show your biggest cosmological questions at shortwave@npr.org.
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What Would It Be Like To Fall Into A Black Hole?

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What Would It Be Like To Fall Into A Black Hole?

What Would It Be Like To Fall Into A Black Hole?

What Would It Be Like To Fall Into A Black Hole?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/859158971/862849382" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

NASA visualization of what matter looks like as it falls into a black hole, a process known as accretion. Jeremy Schnittman/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center hide caption

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Jeremy Schnittman/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA visualization of what matter looks like as it falls into a black hole, a process known as accretion.

Jeremy Schnittman/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Black holes are one of the most beguiling objects in our universe. We know no light can escape them. We know they have an enormous gravitational pull. And we know they're basically potholes in the 4-D fabric of spacetime. But what else do we really know about them?

Turns out — for the Short Wave team — very little.

So, we invited Yale University astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan onto the show to walk us through three ways to understand black holes. She spends her days researching black holes and dark matter, as well as dark energy. Check out her latest research on supermassive black holes.

Talk the mysteries of our universe with Short Wave reporter Emily Kwong on Twitter @emilykwong1234. Email the show your biggest cosmological questions to shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez, edited by Viet Le and fact-checked by Emily Vaughn.