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Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony: The Story of a Gamble, Two Black Holes, and a New Age of Astronomy

by Marcia Bartusiak Yale University Press
Pub Date:
08/2017
ISBN:
9780300223392
Format:
Pbk 296 pages
Price:
AU$29.99 NZ$33.90
Product Status: In Stock Now
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An updated classic that recounts the long hunt for Einstein’s predicted gravitational waves - and celebrates their recent discovery.


 


In February 2016, astronomers announced that they had verified the last remaining prediction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity - vibrations in space-time, called gravitational waves. Humanity can now tune in to a cosmic orchestra. We have heard the chirp of two black holes dancing toward a violent union. We will hear the cymbal crashes from exploding stars, the periodic drumbeats from swiftly rotating pulsars, and maybe even the echoes from the Big Bang itself.     


 


Marcia Bartusiak was one of the first to report on the new generation of observatories, showing the motivations of the detectors’ creators and the gamble they made to prove Einstein right when all other attempts had failed. She traces the quest of astronomers to build the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, the most accurate measuring devices humans have created, and the discovery of gravitational waves, revealing the brilliance, personalities, and luck required to start a new age of astronomy.
"This book gives a splendid account of a century-long saga that culminated in spectacular confirmation of Einstein's theory. Bartusiak's account is fascinating--and a remarkable 'case study' in how science advances."—Sir Martin Rees, author of Just Six Numbers
Marcia Bartusiak is professor of the practice, graduate program in science writing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the award-winning author of six previous books, including most recently The Day We Found the Universe.