Flash!: The Hunt for the Biggest Explosions in the Universe

Flash!: The Hunt for the Biggest Explosions in the Universe

by Govert Schilling
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521800536

ISBN-13: 9780521800532

Pub. Date: 04/28/2002

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

About three times a day our sky flashes with a powerful pulse of gamma ray bursts (GRB), invisible to human eyes but not to astronomers' instruments. The sources of this intense radiation are likely to be emitting, within the span of seconds or minutes, more energy than the sun will in its entire 10 billion years of life. Where these bursts originate, and how they…  See more details below

Overview

About three times a day our sky flashes with a powerful pulse of gamma ray bursts (GRB), invisible to human eyes but not to astronomers' instruments. The sources of this intense radiation are likely to be emitting, within the span of seconds or minutes, more energy than the sun will in its entire 10 billion years of life. Where these bursts originate, and how they come to have such incredible energies, is a mystery scientists have been trying to solve for three decades. The phenomenon has resisted study -- the flashes come from random directions in space and vanish without trace -- until very recently. In what could be called a cinematic conflation of Flash Gordon and The Hunt for Red October, Govert Schilling's Flash!: The Hunt for the Biggest Explosions in the Universe describes the exciting and ever-changing field of GRB research. Based on interviews with leading scientists, Flash! provides an insider's account of the scientific challenges involved in unravelling the enigmatic nature of GRBs. A science writer who has followed the drama from the very start, Schilling describes the ambition and jealousy, collegiality and competition, triumph and tragedy, that exists among those who have embarked on this recherche. Govert Schilling is a Dutch science writer and astronomy publicist. He is a contributing editor of Sky and Telescope magazine, and regularly writes for the news sections of Science and New Scientist. Schilling is the astronomy writer for de Volkskrant, one of the largest national daily newspapers in The Netherlands, and frequently talks about the Universe on Dutch radio broadcasts. He is the author of more than twenty popular astronomy books, and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles on astronomy.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521800532
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2002
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword; Prologue: the breath of Armageddon; 1. The sky watchers of Los Alamos; 2. The bat mystery; 3. A duel over distance; 4. Liras, tears and satellites; 5. Beaming in on afterglows; 6. First among equals; 7. Saucers and shimmers; 8. Thinking with the speed of light; 9. Competition for the Big Bang; 10. Amazing relations; 11. Alchemists of the cosmos; 12. The magnetar attraction; 13. Argus eyes and Livermore; 14. Fireworks and Black Holes; 15. A flashing future; 16. War and peace.

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