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Gravity's Fatal Attraction

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Details

  • Page extent: 312 pages
  • Size: 246 x 189 mm
  • Weight: 0.862 kg

Paperback

 (ISBN-13: 9780521717939)

Richly illustrated with the images from observatories on the ground and in space, and computer simulations, this book shows how black holes were discovered, and discusses our current understanding of their role in cosmic evolution. This second edition covers new discoveries made in the past decade, including definitive proof of a black hole at the center of the Milky Way, evidence that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating, and the new appreciation of the connection between black holes and galaxy formation. There are entirely new chapters on gamma-ray bursts and cosmic feedback. Begelman and Rees blend theoretical arguments with observational results to demonstrate how both approaches contributed to this subject. Clear illustrations and photographs reveal the strange and amazing workings of our universe. The engaging style makes this book suitable for introductory undergraduate courses, amateur astronomers, and all readers interested in astronomy and physics.

• Covers new discoveries made in the past decade, with two entirely new chapters on gamma-ray bursts and cosmic feedback • Richly illustrated with clear, explanatory images revealing the strange and amazing workings of our universe • Engaging style makes it suitable for introductory undergraduate courses, amateur astronomers, and all readers interested in astronomy and physics

Contents

1. Gravity triumphant; 2. Stars and their fates; 3. Black holes in our backyard; 4. Galaxies and their nuclei; 5. Quasars and kin; 6. Jets; 7. Blasts from the past; 8. Black holes in hibernation; 9. Cosmic feedback; 10. Checking up on Einstein; 11. Through the horizon; Appendix: Gravity and cosmic dimensions; Index.

Reviews

'Martin Rees and Mitchell Begelman are probably the world's leading authorities in the astrophysics of black holes.' Stephen W. Hawking

'Martin Rees is one of the great astronomers of our generation, and this felicitous collaboration with Mitchell Begelman brings alive a subject replete with wonder and mystery - without losing the hard edge of scientific rigour. An exhilarating read!' Paul Davies, author of The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World

'Martin Rees and Mitchell Begelman have provided us with a dramatic, elegant, and fully authoritative account of [black holes], and how they fit into our modern picture of the Universe.' Roger Penrose, author of The Emperor's New Mind

'A terrific book, I doubt that you could find a more comprehensive and authoritative popular account of this spectacular subject.' Marcus Chown, New Scientist

'An excellent beginner's account of the discovery of black holes and their importance in astrophysics today.' Frank E. Reed, Sky and Telescope

'This colourful and easy to read … book aims to explain what is perhaps the most mysterious and cataclysmically final of all entities in the Universe: black holes. The witty style and clarity of dejargonised text with all the essential concepts and definitions well explained and illustrated make for a book that is a state-of-the-art authority on the subject … Highly recommended.' FAS Newsletter

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