Schwarzschild radius

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The point of no return.

Named after Karl Schwarzschild, a German astrophysicist.

Using only a compass and protractor, Schwarzschild calculated the event horizon for a non-rotating black hole, a flash of inspiration that came to him in a bierkeller in Düsseldorf during a heated, and subsequently regretted, argument with a handsome Bavarian rechtsanwältin about the relative merits of male and female tennis players.

In a dark place next morning he sketched out the broad parameters for his theory: the Schwarzschild radius of alcohol consumption, beyond which all hope of intelligibility is lost. The lady with whom he had been arguing quickly derived the Schwarzschild radius of document comprehension from his initial paper, the two phenomena being highly correlated.

It was only later that Schwarzschild appreciated their application in cosmology.

The signal from that night in Düsseldorf can still be faintly apprehended in the background radiation of the cosmos.

See also