A black hole is an object which is so compact, and whose gravitational pull is so strong, that nothing -- not even light – can escape from its interior. The concept of a black hole is very bizarre and one feels that something in physics ought to prevent the formation of such objects. But this is not the case. On the contrary, the universe contains countless numbers of black holes, some that are only a few times the mass of the Sun and others as much as a billion times more massive. The talk will describe some inter esting properties of black holes, and the surprising ways in which black holes influence phenomena in the universe over a wide range of scales.
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