This talk will be a basic introduction to the physics of black holes and one theme in modern theoretical physics - holography - which was inspired by their study. We will explore how, from initially being considered unphysical solutions of Einstein’s theory of gravity, black holes were eventually recognized as truly remarkable astrophysical objects.
We will see how black holes provide a fascinating theoretical laboratory of quantum gravity and are, rather uniquely, at the intersection of quantum, relativistic, gravitational and statistical physics. We will also try and highlight how several contemporary themes in gravitational physics - both theoretical and experimental - centre around these unique objects. The prerequisite will be a basic undergraduate level physics education.