Dive into a mind-bending exploration of the physics of black holes Black holes, predicted by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity more than a century ago, have long intrigued scientists and the public with their bizarre and fantastical properties. Although Einstein understood that black holes were mathematical solutions to his equations, he never accepted their physical reality—a viewpoint many shared. This all changed in the 1960s and 1970s, when a deeper conceptual understanding of black holes developed just as new observations revealed the existence of quasars and X-ray binary star systems, whose mysterious properties could be explained by the presence of black holes. Black holes have since been the subject of intense research—and the physics governing how they behave and affect their surroundings is stranger and more mind-bending than any fiction. After introducing the basics of the special and general theories of relativity, this book describes black holes both as astrophysical objects and theoretical “laboratories” in which physicists can test their understanding of gravitational, quantum, and thermal physics. From Schwarzschild black holes to rotating and colliding black holes, and from gravitational radiation to Hawking radiation and information loss, Steven Gubser and Frans Pretorius use creative thought experiments and analogies to explain their subject accessibly. They also describe the decades-long quest to observe the universe in gravitational waves, which recently resulted in the LIGO observatories’ detection of the distinctive gravitational wave “chirp” of two colliding black holes—the first direct observation of black holes’ existence. The Little Book of Black Holes takes readers deep into the mysterious heart of the subject, offering rare clarity of insight into the physics that makes black holes simple yet destructive manifestations of geometric destiny.
The Little Book of String Theory offers a short, accessible, and entertaining introduction to one of the most talked-about areas of physics today. String theory has been called the "theory of everything." It seeks to describe all the fundamental forces of nature. It encompasses gravity and quantum mechanics in one unifying theory. But it is unproven and fraught with controversy. After reading this book, you'll be able to draw your own conclusions about string theory. Steve Gubser begins by explaining Einstein's famous equation E = mc2 , quantum mechanics, and black holes. He then gives readers a crash course in string theory and the core ideas behind it. In plain English and with a minimum of mathematics, Gubser covers strings, branes, string dualities, extra dimensions, curved spacetime, quantum fluctuations, symmetry, and supersymmetry. He describes efforts to link string theory to experimental physics and uses analogies that nonscientists can understand. How does Chopin's Fantasie-Impromptu relate to quantum mechanics? What would it be like to fall into a black hole? Why is dancing a waltz similar to contemplating a string duality? Find out in the pages of this book. The Little Book of String Theory is the essential, most up-to-date beginner's guide to this elegant, multidimensional field of physics.
Mathematics is indeed fun as this little book testifies. This book presents a unique collection of mathematical ideas, theories, theorems, conjectures, rules, facts, equations, formulas, paradoxes, fallacies and puzzles with short, simple and witty explanations that require no background in mathematics.
"Hogan compresses the fifteen-billion-year history of the Universe into a pleasurable evening. In a very direct way, he answers the questions everyone asks." -MARGARET GELLER, HARVARD-SMITHSONIAN CENTER FOR ASTROPHYSICS "This delightful little primer brings you right up to the cutting edge of modern cosmology." -GEORGE SMOOT, PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR, COBE AND AUTHOR OF WRINKLES IN TIME "An excellent bridge by which the layperson can enter the domain of the Cosmos with understanding." -ROBERT WILLIAMS, DIRECTOR, SPACE TELESCOPE SCIENCE INSTITUTE
The universe is still hiding many things that are surprising and strange, and puzzling thought, and it is not said that the door of suspense and attract attention, but it is said about facts in the universe, easily impose itself, through the creation of another dimension appears in this huge universe.And the page of the universe as you see is dark or black in another expression, interspersed with those stars and the stars of the galaxy shining here and there, and here we ask ourselves:How do you know that there is a black hole in this black cosmic curtain, it is undoubtedly a wonderful paradox, to see the black hole inside this black universe, but no wonder of these infinite cosmic wonders.The Little Book of Black Holes takes readers deep into the mysterious heart of the subject, offering rare clarity of insight into the physics that makes black holes simple yet destructive manifestations of geometric destiny.
The Little Book provides succinct questions and invites pauses for reflections, designed to focus and expedite the research process so that your research experience will be rewarding and provide pathways for future research endeavors.
One positive side-effect of the recent financial market meltdown that toppled giant, century-old institutions and cost millions their jobs is that it created a strong desire among many Americans to better understand how the U.S. economy functions. In The Little Book of Economics, Greg, Ip, one of the country’s most recognized and respected economics journalists, walks readers through how the economy really works. Written for the inquisitive layman who doesn’t want to plow through academic jargon and Greek letters or pore over charts and tables, The Little Book of Economics offers indispensible insight into how the American economy works – or, doesn’t. With engaging and accessible prose, the book Provides a comprehensive understanding of each aspect of our economy from inflation and unemployment to international trade and finance Serves as an insider’s guide to the people and institutions that control America’s economy such as the Federal Reserve and the federal budget Explains the roots of America’s current economic crisis and the risks the country faces in its aftermath, such as stratospheric government debt, while offering advice on overcoming these threats Walks readers through the basic concepts and terminology they need to understand economic news Punctures myths and political spin from both the left and the right with candid and often surprising insight A must read for anyone who wants a better grasp of the economy without taking a course in economics , The Little Book of Economics is a unique and engaging look at how the economy works in all its wonderful and treacherous ways.
A pedagogical introduction to the physics of black holes. The membrane paradigm represents the four-dimensional spacetime of the black hole's "event horizon" as a two-dimensional membrane in three-dimensional space, allowing the reader to understand and compute the behavior of black holes in complex astrophysical environments.