The Edge of All We Know

The Edge of All We Know (2020) - IMDb

Our perspective is unique as we all interpret things differently and certainly that is the case for those involved in physics. I would not even dare to understand the tiniest bit of information they process because everything would be completely foreign to me. What does not pass over my head though is the dedication and absolute love such people have to work in these fields. Documentarian Peter Galison’s new film The Edge of All We Know covers the work conducted by numerous individuals and countries that were able for the first time in history to produce an image of a black hole in space.

The film presents two separate parties each working on projects about a black hole; in this case it would be the closest to Earth, an amazing 25600 light years away. One group works along world renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking as they try to prove that a black hole maintains information of matter it absorbs thus changing its appearance. Unfortunately before they could finalize their paper Hawking passed away at the age of 76 in 2018. It was amazing though to watch Hawking’s influence on the group because even in his condition he pushed them forward. Considered a risk taker in his field, Hawking would pave the path for his fellow co-workers to realize everything they had strived to prove was indeed right. Dubbed “soft hair” it was a theory stating that matter that fell into a black hole did not disappear but was instead kept as stored information.

The other group in the film were those working on the Even Horizon Telescope. It is a system of synched satellites and telescopes scattered across the globe that work simultaneously to capture images in space. The weather conditions alone for a project like this to work are ridiculous as every source needs a crystal clear sky to obtain this information. This was by no means an easy task for anyone involved as individuals worked around the clock for five straight days to get everything they needed. Even after recording all this information it was months before anything could proceed due to a waiting period while obtaining each location’s data. The work was still not done though as we watch four different groups each analyze the data so as to see if they each come up with the same answer. All their work paid off because in 2019 numerous parties across the globe were able to present the very first image of a black hole.

I feel the film is more of a representation of these dedicated individuals. It was through their hard work that this was ever accomplished and the mentality that “We put in the effort because we believe in it.” To study something no one has ever seen and to work simply from math equations is something not all of us would even attempt let alone spending decades on theorizing. These individuals possess a deeper passion as one stated “But I’m a scientist. This is the best situation you can be in.” We still have very much to study about our galaxy and beyond but the perseverance of such people truly is a wonder and astounding to watch.


3 out of 5

Film is available via Apple TV

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Film’s Website

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