TUCSON, Ariz. — The year 2020 might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but it is just around the corner.
The University of Arizona has been a leader in the world of science for decades, and is poised for more contributions in the future.
Big things happened in 2019. Take this image of a black hole in a galaxy 50 million light years away. UArizona played a key role in an international effort to piece it together.
“100 years down the road we have a technology to turn telescopes and find exactly what the theory predicted. This is a remarkable feet of the human mind,” said Professor of Astronomy and Physics Dr. Dimitrios Psaltis.
They are not finished yet. They are turning their sights on another black hole. This time in the center of our own galaxy. They hope to release that image in the near future.
“We know it has a mass of about 4 million times the mass of our sun, and if there was anything there as big as 4 million stars we would have observed it but it’s completely dark and that's why we think there’s a black hole.”
Work continues in many fields at the University of Arizona. The biosphere 2 rainforest went dry in 2019. Researchers hope to use the simulated drought to predict how plants will respond to tomorrow's changing climate.
Associate professor Mohab Ibrahim says they are on the cutting edge of chronic pain management.
He imagines a future where people can treat their pain in a variety of ways without a heavy reliance on pills.
Green Light Therapy is being tested right now. Dr. Ibrahim says the perception of the color green in the pain centers of the brain can help relieve conditions ranging from a common headache to fibromyalgia.
“These neurons are connected, it goes from the eyes to different locations in the brain and from there to the spinal cord. So green light might be activating these neurons.”
As we move towards the new year Dr. Psaltis says he imagines a future where astronomers will use telescopes launched into space to get even farther-reaching images.
“Ten years ago when we started this project and told people we were going to take a picture of a black hole everyone thought it was science fiction, ten years down the road technology worked, the project worked and we got the picture of the black hole, who knows where we'll be ten years from now.”
Whatever the future will bring, The University of Arizona appears poised to continue its leadership in the world of science.