Gravity’s Century by Ron Cowen audiobook

Gravity’s Century: From Einstein’s Eclipse to Images of Black Holes

By Ron Cowen
Read by John Patrick Walsh

Unabridged

Format: CD (In Stock)
  • ISBN: 9781982626815

  • ISBN: 9781982626808

  • ISBN: 9781982626822

Runtime: 4.96 Hours
Category: Nonfiction/Science
Audience: Adult
Language: English

Summary

Summary

A sweeping account of the century of experimentation that confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity, bringing to life the science and scientists at the origins of relativity, the development of radio telescopes, the discovery of black holes and quasars, and the still unresolved place of gravity in quantum theory.

Albert Einstein did nothing of note on May 29, 1919; yet that is when he became immortal. On that day, astronomer Arthur Eddington and his team observed a solar eclipse and found something extraordinary: gravity bends light, just as Einstein predicted. The findings confirmed the theory of general relativity, fundamentally changing our understanding of space and time.

A century later, another group of astronomers is performing a similar experiment on a much larger scale. The Event Horizon Telescope, a globe-spanning array of radio dishes, is examining space surrounding Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. As Ron Cowen recounts, one foremost goal of the experiment is to determine whether Einstein was right on the details. Gravity lies at the heart of what we don’t know about quantum mechanics, but tantalizing possibilities for deeper insight are offered by black holes. By observing starlight wrapping around Sagittarius A*, the telescope will not only provide the first direct view of an event horizon―a black hole’s point of no return―but will also enable scientists to test Einstein’s theory under the most extreme conditions.

Gravity’s Century shows how we got from the pivotal observations of the 1919 eclipse to the Event Horizon Telescope, and what is at stake today. Breaking down the physics in clear and approachable language, Cowen makes vivid how the quest to understand gravity is really the quest to comprehend the universe.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“This gracefully written history of twentieth-century gravity research from science writer Cowen shines a light on a key aspect of modern physics…Filled with vivid descriptions of cutting-edge work and the scientists behind it, Cowen’s book is fascinating, both a learning experience and a pleasure to read.” Publishers Weekly
“A brief history of the past one hundred years of experimentation related to Einstein’s theory of relativity, black holes, and more…A fine introduction to the basics.” Kirkus Reviews
“Cowen is a gifted science writer and storyteller, and the story is amazing!” John C. Mather, Nobel Prize in Physics laureate
“A clear and compelling narrative about the development of our understanding of gravity and the universe, powered by Einstein and his cohorts. Cowen weaves together the historical and personal events leading to this revolution and brings us up to date with the ideas and speculations that will likely forge an even newer and more radical understanding of the nature of the world.” George F. Smoot, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics
“Einstein’s general theory of relativity radically changed our notions of space, gravity, and time. Gravity’s Century takes us from Einstein’s struggle to develop his theory up to the modern day―when the detection of gravitational waves from black holes has confirmed general relativity’s most audacious claims, even as scientists are still trying to reconcile the theory with the other great idea of twentieth-century physics, quantum mechanics.” David Spergel, Princeton University

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Ron Cowen

Author Bio: Ron Cowen

Ron Cowen has written for National Geographic, Nature, New York Times, Science, Scientific American, Science News, and US News & World Report and is a guest commentator on NPR’s Science Friday. He has received the American Institute of Physics Writing Award and twice won the American Astronomical Society’s Solar Physics Division Popular Writing Award, as well as their Excellence in Science Writing Award.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : CD, Library CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Science
Runtime: 4.96
Audience: Adult
Language: English