Black Hole Swirls

Creator: Kaliroë Pappas

Medium: Ceramic

Black holes, massive singularities flecking the Universe from which even light cannot escape, drawn in by mutual gravitational attraction, spiral towards each other to merge. As these giant masses accelerate and swirl together, they warp the fabric spacetime and give off gravity waves, or ripples in spacetime, as they undergo the cataclysm of coalescing. One of the most astounding discoveries of this century was the detection of gravitational waves coming from such a black hole merger more than a billion light years away – it took billions of  years for these waves to reach us! In this piece, a clay plate forms a tactile means of imagining the moments before black hole merger whose detection created history. Trace your finger along the spirals and experience the mesmerizing swirling pattern.