What is a black hole? Could we survive a visit to one ... perhaps even venture inside? Have we yet discovered any real black holes? And what do black holes teach us about the mysteries of our Universe? These are just a few of the tantalizing questions examined in this tour-de-force, jargon-free review of one of the most fascinating topics in modern science. In search of the answers, we trace a star from its birth to its death throes, take a hypothetical journey to the border of a black hole and beyond, spend time with some of the world's leading theoretical physicists and astronomers, and take a whimsical look at some of the wild ideas black holes have inspired. Prisons of Light - Black Holes is comprehensive and detailed. Yet Kitty Ferguson's lightness of touch and down-to-earth analogies set this book apart from all others on black holes and make it a wonderfully stimulating and entertaining read.
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'Ferguson succeeds in explaining ... black holes at a level that will be inviting to those with little or no prior knowledge. Her writing is lucid, her analogies good. Just when you thought it was all over, black holes are back.' John Barrow, New Scientist 'Kitty Ferguson marshals her arguments well, taking a bite at a time and giving the reader the opportunity to digest before cramming in the next ... Her text is carefully thought out, vivid and accurate ... A sensible index and suggestions for further reading round the whole thing off nicely. I am glad I read it.' Roger O'Brien, Journal of the British Astronomical Society 'An astute blend of entertainment and enlightenment, the sort of book that might have come from George Gammow as part of his series Mr Tompkins in Wonderland. Ferguson's grip on her material is firm, her style crisp, lucid and lively.' Werner Israel, Physics World 'The reader ... will be amply rewarded not only with knowledge, but also with the humor, fantasy, poetry and awe Ferguson brings to the subject.' Publishers Weekly '... a crystal clear guide for a first trip around the black hole block.' Gilbert Taylor, Booklist '... delightfully clear account, well illustrated and bare of jargon and equations ... I recommend it.' Robert Boyd, Science and Christian Belief "The reader...will be amply rewarded not only with knowledge, but also with the humor, fantasy, poetry and awe Ferguson brings to the subject." Publisher's Weekly, starred review "Ferguson succeeds in explaining...black holes at a level that will be inviting to those with little or no prior knowledge. Her writing style is lucid, her analogies good. Just when you thought it was all over, black holes are back." John Barrow, New Scientist "...an enjoyable, informative read for all." The Bookwatch
Table of Contents
Prologue; 1. A cosmic case of burnout; 2. Matters of gravity: Newton and Einstein; 3. The capture of light; 4. Tripping the theoretical fantastic; 5. Crossing the bar; 6. Contemplating an enormous nothing; 7. Evidence in the case; 8. Hearts of darkness; 9. The search goes on; 10. Passages into the labyrinth; 11. Black hole legends and far out ideas; Epilogue.
Prisons of Light - Black Holes by Kitty Ferguson
Used - Very Good
Cambridge University Press
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