Science: Power from Gravity

Scientists have suggested any number of exotic solutions to the energy crisis —from harnessing ocean currents to using the earth's magnetic field. Now researchers at the Atomic Energy Commission's Lawrence Livermore Laboratory have conceived perhaps the most imaginative scheme of all. They propose tapping what might well be the ultimate energy source: a "black hole"—a small celestial object that is trillions of times denser than ordinary matter.

Predicted by relativity theory and apparently recently detected in space (TIME, Dec. 10), a black hole is formed during the death throes of a giant star.

As the nuclear fires go out, the stellar gases begin...

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