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Violently Active Galaxies: The Search for the Energy Machine

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Science  25 Aug 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4357, pp. 700-702
DOI: 10.1126/science.201.4357.700


The energy source in these galaxies will be shown to be a black hole, I think, even though it may take 100 years before we have proven it.—MARTIN REES, at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, England

I think it will take 1000 years and we may very well be on the wrong track. These [black hole] models are getting into the textbooks now, but there is never anything testable and people are working on smaller and smaller pieces of the problem.— GEOFFREY BURBIDGE, at the Univeristy of California, San Diego, and soon to assume the post of head of the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona

REES: I agree, but I would argue that the way we are going about it is the most productive approach, even though the modelers may be getting the illusory satisfaction of a Ptolomean theorist who adds another epicycle.

BURBRIDGE: I'm glad to hear you say that, Martin. The trouble is that so many people take these things more seriously than you do.