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Einstein's Monsters: The Life and Times of Black Holes

Chris Impey



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17 September 2019
Mathematics & Sciences; Astronomy, space & time; Cosmology & the universe; Relativity physics
Black holes are the best known and least understood objects in the universe. These enigmatic giants, which scientists have discovered are at the center of every galaxy, continue to astound and challenge us. In Einstein's Monsters, distinguished astronomer Chris Impey takes readers on a vivid tour of these cosmic wonders. He weaves a fascinating tale out of the fiendishly complex math of black holes and the colorful history of their discovery. Impey blends this history with a poignant account of the phenomena scientists have witnessed while observing black holes: stars swarming like bees around the center of our galaxy; black holes performing gravitational waltzes with visible stars; the cymbal clash of two back holes colliding, releasing ripples in space time.

Clear, compelling, and profound, Einstein's Monsters reveals how our comprehension of black holes is intrinsically linked to how we make sense of the universe and our place within it.
By:   Chris Impey
Imprint:   Norton
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 211mm,  Width: 140mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   259g
ISBN:   9780393357509
ISBN 10:   0393357503
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   17 September 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Chris Impey is a distinguished professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona and the critically-acclaimed author of Beyond, How It Began, and How It Ends, and four other books, as well as two astronomy textbooks. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Reviews for Einstein's Monsters: The Life and Times of Black Holes

Astronomer Impey's accessible approach breaks down complex scientific concepts with ease and flair, name-checking everyone from Edgar Allen Poe to Pink Floyd as he lays out what we think we know about black holes-and what remains mysterious. -- Discover The book gives an awe-inspiring account of the complexity and beauty of black holes that were there before our Galaxy formed and will probably be there after everything else has been shredded apart by the forces of an ever-expanding Universe. -- Nature Impey does an admirable job describing multiple facets of the often contradictory field of black hole astrophysics... Einstein's Monsters will be sure to capture the imagination of most who pick it up, simultaneously convincing the reader that these monsters, while in fact quite certainly real, should be loved and not feared. -- Science Einstein's Monsters cuts through the fiendishly complex mathematics to set out the evidence for black holes, and how they are born and die. -- Times Higher Education Impey skilfully weaves a fascinating tale out of the work and ideas of the scientists who... pieced together the history of black holes by understanding the evolution of stars and how they can, depending on their mass, end up as white dwarfs, ultra-dense neutronstars, rapidly spinning pulsars or as an exploding supernova. -- Financial Times In Einstein's Monsters, Impey provides a history of black holes and an overview of investigations into their supremely counter-intuitive behaviour...[he] addresses the seeming absurdities of [the] subject with authority and wit. -- Nature Black holes were originally flights of theoretical fancy, difficult for even professional physicists to wrap their brains around. In Einstein's Monsters, Chris Impey shows how modern astronomy has brought them into vivid focus, and conveys how much more we're learning about these extreme beasts with every passing year. -- Sean Carroll

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