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

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Product Details
Harvard University Press
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.3 X 0.9 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author
Ron Cowen has written for National Geographic, Nature, the New York Times, Science, Science News, Scientific American, and U.S. News & World Report, and is a guest commentator on NPR's Science Friday. He has twice received both the American Institute of Physics's Science Writing Award and the American Astronomical Society (Solar Physics Division)'s Popular Writing Award.
Cowen is a gifted science writer and storyteller, and the story is amazing!--John C. Mather, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics
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
This gracefully written history of 20th-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 (starred review) (03/11/2019)
[Cowen's] brisk, engaging narrative leads us from Einstein's famous 'thought experiments' through theorists' many (so far unsuccessful) attempts to marry quantum mechanics with general relativity, and up to recent (more successful) efforts to observe gravitational waves and black holes.--Wall Street Journal (05/24/2019)
A brief, accessible account of the 1919 eclipse and subsequent advances in cosmology, touching upon dark matter, dark energy, quantum gravity, and black holes. It's a very quick and readable introduction to some of the exotic findings that came in Einstein's wake.-- (06/01/2019)
This is as good a short introduction to Einstein's thought as one could wish for.--Simon Ings"The Spectator" (05/11/2019)
In a conversational style, the veteran physics writer chronicles the field's greatest hits in the century since a solar eclipse proved Einstein was right.--Gemma Tarlach"Discover" (06/01/2019)
A breezy and enjoyable read, a welcome addition to a crowded shelf of books on these topics.--Peter Coles"Nature" (04/15/2019)
Gravity's Century is remarkably easy to follow and read. If you are a keen beginner, or just interested in some of the people behind the science, read this book.-- (05/01/2019)
Accessible and compact...A great introduction to Einstein's theory of general relativity and the century of research that has been testing his ideas since.--Leon Vlieger"Inquisitive Biologist" (09/12/2019)
There are some extremely clever ways to visualize how gravitation works in a Universe governed by General Relativity under a wide variety of physical conditions, and Cowen explores many of the classic ways you've probably seen before along with some incredibly creative ones that were new, even to me.--Ethan Siegel"Forbes" (11/29/2019)
A concise chronicle of the dramatic expansion of our knowledge of the universe, from the eclipse expeditions of 1919 to test Einstein's theory of relativity, to the Event Horizon Telescope's black hole images of 2019.--Mike Perricone"Symmetry" (12/10/2019)
Clear and readily intelligible to the non-specialist.--Johannes E. Riutta"Well-Read Naturalist" (11/17/2019)