Ripples in Spacetime: Einstein, Gravitational Waves, and the Future of Astronomy, With a New Afterword

Ripples in Spacetime: Einstein, Gravitational Waves, and the Future of Astronomy, With a New Afterword

Paperback(2nd ed.)

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A Physics Today Best Book of the Year
A Forbes “For the Physics and Astronomy Lover in Your Life” Selection

“Succinct, accessible, and remarkably timely… This book is a rare find.”
Physics Today

“Belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in learning the scientific, historical, and personal stories behind some of the most incredible scientific advances of the 21st century.”

The detection of gravitational waves has already been called the scientific breakthrough of the century. Einstein predicted these tiny ripples in the fabric of spacetime over a hundred years ago, but they were only recently perceived directly for the first time. Ripples in Spacetime is an engaging account of the international effort to complete Einstein’s project, capture his elusive ripples, and launch an era of gravitational-wave astronomy that promises to explain, more vividly than ever before, our universe’s structure and origin.

“Schilling’s deliciously nerdy grand tour takes us through compelling backstory, current research, and future expectations.”

“A lively and readable account… Schilling underlines that this discovery is the opening of a new window on the universe, the beginning of a new branch of science.”
—Graham Farmelo, The Guardian

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674237742
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 03/18/2019
Edition description: 2nd ed.
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 451,777
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Govert Schilling is an astronomy journalist and writer based in the Netherlands.

Martin Rees is a cosmologist and space scientist based in Cambridge, England. He holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal.

Table of Contents

Foreword Martin Rees vii

Introduction 1

1 A Spacetime Appetizer 5

2 Relatively Speaking 22

3 Einstein on Trial 40

4 Wave Talk and Bar Fights 60

5 The Lives of Stars 77

6 Clockwork Precision 94

7 Laser Quest 112

8 The Path to Perfection 129

9 Creation Stories 150

10 Cold Case 167

11 Gotcha 186

12 Black Magic 206

13 Nanoscience 226

14 Follow-Up Questions 246

15 Space Invaders 267

16 Surf's Up for Einstein Wave Astronomy 288

Afterword: Astronomers Catch Einstein Waves from Colliding Neutron Stars 306

Chronology: What's Happened since Ripples in Spacetime 315

Notes and Further Reading 317

Acknowledgments 330

Illustration Credits 331

Index 333

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