Gravity's Engines: The Other Side of Black Holes

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en Limba Engleză Carte Paperback – 07 Nov 2013
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We've long understood black holes to be the points at which the universe as we know it comes to an end. Often billions of times more massive than the Sun, they lurk in the inner sanctum of almost every galaxy of stars in the universe. They're mysterious chasms so destructive and unforgiving that not even light can escape their deadly wrath. Recent research, however, has led to a cascade of new discoveries that have revealed an entirely different side to black holes. As the astrophysicist Caleb Scharf reveals in Gravity's Engines, these chasms in space-time don't just vacuum up everything that comes near them; they also spit out huge beams and clouds of matter. Black holes blow bubbles. With clarity and keen intellect, Scharf masterfully explains how these bubbles profoundly rearrange the cosmos around them. Engaging with our deepest questions about the universe, he takes us on an intimate journey through the endlessly colorful place we call our galaxy and reminds us that the Milky Way sits in a special place in the cosmic zoo¿a "sweet spot¿ of properties. Is it coincidental that we find ourselves here at this place and time? Could there be a deeper connection between the nature of black holes and their role in the universe and the phenomenon of life? We are, after all, made of the stuff of stars.
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ISBN-13: 9780241957356
ISBN-10: 0241957354
Pagini: 272
Dimensiuni: 129 x 198 x 16 mm
Greutate: 0.20 kg
Editura: Penguin Books
Colecția Penguin
Locul publicării: London, United Kingdom


This is a book that is rich in the poetry of scientific language. ... Not only does [Scharf] know more about the universe than you or I do, he knows how to transmit his knowledge by deft use of analogy.
Scharf makes vivid the mind-boggling nature of the universe. . . [There are] bright beams of knowledge coming from this excellent book
A virtuosic history of the universe... [Scharf] serves as an appealing tour guide to the eerie, infinite corridors of the cosmos in which we reside
This heady story of astronomical endeavour and cosmic conjecture prompts a happy mix of marvels
A wonderfully detailed tapestry of what modern astronomy is all about . . . Using rich language and a brilliant command of metaphor, [Scharf] takes on some of the most intricate topics in . . . astronomical research
Caleb Scharf is a lively and eloquent writer as well as a fine scientist. Gravity's Engines is particularly welcome because it presents topics at the frontiers of our understanding which have not hitherto been presented so clearly to a general readership
In Gravity's Engines, Caleb Scharf tells the mind-blowing story of 'supermassive' black holes, the true masters of the Universe. Black holes are smaller than the Solar System yet project their power across the cosmos, sculpting entire galaxies of stars. They might appear esoteric and remote, but as Scharf explains, life on Earth may have been utterly impossible without them

Notă biografică

Caleb Scharf is the director of the Columbia Astrobiology Center. He writes the Life, Unbounded blog for Scientific American; has written for New Scientist, Science, and Nature, among other publications; and has served as a consultant for the Discovery Channel, the Science Channel, The New York Times, and more. Scharf has served as a keynote speaker for the American Museum of Natural History and the Rubin Museum of Art, and is the author of Extrasolar Planets and Astrobiology, winner of the 2011 Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award from the American Astronomical Society. He lives in New York City with his wife and two daughters.