<Radio Transcript – April 2, 1984>
Bob Maywood: Welcome back to the show. I’m joined by Doctor Stephen Appleton, a Brit who joined the University as a doctoral student but is now a senior technician at the Radioscopy Unit and whose latest paper, titled Approaches to Empirical Observations of Superdensity and Singularities, left me… well, let’s just say I think I understood about seven words in the whole thing! Dr Appleton, welcome to the show.
Stephen Appleton: Nice to be here, Bob.
BM: Dr Appleton, last week we spoke to your colleague – she was your PhD mentor, is that right? – Dr Katherine Collins. You two are married as well? Is that strange?
SA: We’re a team, professionally as well as personally. I don’t think that’s relevant though. I thought you’d want to talk about astrophysics not my personal life.
BM: My apologies. Let’s get right into it then! Last week, Dr Collins was telling us all about black holes – that’s your area of expertise as well, right?
SA: In a way, yes. I study extreme forms of cosmological objects that tend towards singularity. My work deals with how we move from theory to practical observation and study of these kinds of objects.
BM: So what’s a singularity – is this different to a black hole?
SA: A black hole is a kind of singularity, a gravitational singularity. The concept isn’t just cosmological though, you can have singularities in other areas of study, notably mathematics. The core idea is one of limitless mass, which creates a superdense object that may or may not be classified as a black hole. Mostly this stuff has always been theoretical. You predict the properties of a singularity because you can’t get at it experimentally. That’s where I come in.