Black holes could challenge Relativity

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Einstein’s General Relativity is a theory of grand scales, requiring correspondingly grand scale experiments to test it. Black holes, whose existence is predicted by General Relativity, are a great laboratory for such experiments. So far, these new experiments, including the recent visualization of the black hole at the center of our galaxy by the Event Horizon Telescope, seem to confirm the theory. For some, this means the truth of Relativity is increasingly beyond doubt. But at the same time, these experiments open up new ways of challenging, and potentially falsifying Einstein’s theory. That is how Einstein himself wanted thing to be. For him, scientific theories were not meant to be collections of true claims to be confirmed by experiments, but heuristic devices open to being discarded the moment they stopped working, argues Lydia Patton.  Many philosophers of science cite confirmation by experimental evidence as a crucial virtue of theories. Confirmation may mean that, when the th…

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