50 years later, it’s hard to say who named black holes

By Tom Siegfried, 11:39 AM December 23, 2013

DALLAS — Nobody seems to be noticing, but this month is the 50th anniversary of using the term “black hole” to describe the bottomless pits of outer space.

That’s probably because the traditional story gives the year of the term’s birth as 1967, when John Archibald Wheeler used it during a lecture in New York City in December of that year.

Wheeler, who died in 2008, said the term was suggested to him a few weeks earlier during another lecture, when a member of the audience got tired of hearing ...

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