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.
Adventures into the Unknown That Changed Everything
Author: Jheni Osman
Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books
This is a book about expedition, adventure, our thirst for knowledge and pushing the limits of human endurance. From the navigational instruments that have led us through unknown lands, to the advanced engineering that carried us into the depths of the ocean, to the rocket science that propelled us into space, science and adventure have always been inextricably linked. Both are at the heart of everything we now know about the complex universe we find ourselves in. From the groundbreaking sea voyage in 1735 that settled the debate raging between Descartes and Newton about the shape of the earth to the balloon ride that led to the discovery of cosmic rays, we have pushed the limits of what's possible, both on our planet and beyond the clouds. The Little Book of Big Explorations is a collection of some of the most daring and eye-opening adventures in history that have changed the way we view the world, as well as a look at what's still to be discovered. Our insatiable curiosity has driven our survival as a species and can be charted through the centuries by these incredible voyages of discovery.
"The theory of black holes is the most simple consequence of Einstein's relativity theory. Dealing with relativity theory, this book details one of the most beautiful areas of mathematical physics; the theory of black holes. It represents a personal testament to the work of the author, who spent several years working-out the subject matter." --WorldCat.
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
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.
Einstein said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. But was he right? Can the quantum theory of fields and Einstein's general theory of relativity, the two most accurate and successful theories in all of physics, be united into a single quantum theory of gravity? Can quantum and cosmos ever be combined? In The Nature of Space and Time, two of the world’s most famous physicists—Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time) and Roger Penrose (The Road to Reality)—debate these questions. The authors outline how their positions have further diverged on a number of key issues, including the spatial geometry of the universe, inflationary versus cyclic theories of the cosmos, and the black-hole information-loss paradox. Though much progress has been made, Hawking and Penrose stress that physicists still have further to go in their quest for a quantum theory of gravity.
My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics
Author: Leonard Susskind
Publisher: Hachette UK
What happens when something is sucked into a black hole? Does it disappear? Three decades ago, a young physicist named Stephen Hawking claimed it did-and in doing so put at risk everything we know about physics and the fundamental laws of the universe. Most scientists didn't recognize the import of Hawking's claims, but Leonard Susskind and Gerard t'Hooft realized the threat, and responded with a counterattack that changed the course of physics. THE BLACK HOLE WAR is the thrilling story of their united effort to reconcile Hawking's revolutionary theories of black holes with their own sense of reality-effort that would eventually result in Hawking admitting he was wrong, paying up, and Susskind and t'Hooft realizing that our world is a hologram projected from the outer boundaries of space. A brilliant book about modern physics, quantum mechanics, the fate of stars and the deep mysteries of black holes, Leonard Susskind's account of the Black Hole War is mind-bending and exhilarating reading.