Black Hole: How an Idea Abandoned by Newtonians, Hated by Einstein, and Gambled on by Hawking Became Loved

Yale University Press
7
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"For more than half a century, physicists and astronomers engaged in heated dispute over the possibility of black holes in the universe. The weirdly alien notion of a space-time abyss from which nothing escapes—not even light—seemed to confound all logic. This engrossing book tells the story of the fierce black hole debates and the contributions of Einstein and Hawking and other leading thinkers who completely altered our view of the universe. Renowned science writer Marcia Bartusiak shows how the black hole helped revive Einstein's greatest achievement, the general theory of relativity, after decades during which it had been pushed into the shadows. Not until astronomers discovered such surprising new phenomena as neutron stars and black holes did the once-sedate universe transform into an Einsteinian cosmos, filled with sources of titanic energy that can be understood only in the light of relativity. This book celebrates the hundredth anniversary of general relativity, uncovers how the black hole really got its name, and recounts the scientists' frustrating, exhilarating, and at times humorous battles over the acceptance of one of history's most dazzling ideas. "
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About the author

Combining her skills as a journalist with a master's degree in physics, Marcia Bartusiak has been covering the fields of astronomy and physics for three decades. Currently a professor of the practice of the Graduate Program in Science Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she is the award-winning author of six critically acclaimed books. Visit her at marciabartusiak.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Yale University Press
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Published on
Apr 28, 2015
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780300213638
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Astronomy
Science / History
Science / Physics / Astrophysics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics

Ever since Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity burst upon the world in 1915 some of the most brilliant minds of our century have sought to decipher the mysteries bequeathed by that theory, a legacy so unthinkable in some respects that even Einstein himself rejected them.

Which of these bizarre phenomena, if any, can really exist in our universe? Black holes, down which anything can fall but from which nothing can return; wormholes, short spacewarps connecting regions of the cosmos; singularities, where space and time are so violently warped that time ceases to exist and space becomes a kind of foam; gravitational waves, which carry symphonic accounts of collisions of black holes billions of years ago; and time machines, for traveling backward and forward in time.

Kip Thorne, along with fellow theorists Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, a cadre of Russians, and earlier scientists such as Oppenheimer, Wheeler and Chandrasekhar, has been in the thick of the quest to secure answers. In this masterfully written and brilliantly informed work of scientific history and explanation, Dr. Thorne, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at Caltech, leads his readers through an elegant, always human, tapestry of interlocking themes, coming finally to a uniquely informed answer to the great question: what principles control our universe and why do physicists think they know the things they think they know? Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time has been one of the greatest best-sellers in publishing history. Anyone who struggled with that book will find here a more slowly paced but equally mind-stretching experience, with the added fascination of a rich historical and human component.

Winner of the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science.

Long-listed for the 2016 PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award

“An important book that provides insight into key new developments in our understanding of the nature of space, time and the universe. It will repay careful study.” —John Gribbin, The Wall Street Journal

“An endlessly surprising foray into the current mother of physics' many knotty mysteries, the solving of which may unveil the weirdness of quantum particles, black holes, and the essential unity of nature.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

What is space? It isn't a question that most of us normally ask. Space is the venue of physics; it's where things exist, where they move and take shape. Yet over the past few decades, physicists have discovered a phenomenon that operates outside the confines of space and time: nonlocality-the ability of two particles to act in harmony no matter how far apart they may be. It appears to be almost magical. Einstein grappled with this oddity and couldn't come to terms with it, describing it as "spooky action at a distance." More recently, the mystery has deepened as other forms of nonlocality have been uncovered. This strange occurrence, which has direct connections to black holes, particle collisions, and even the workings of gravity, holds the potential to undermine our most basic understandings of physical reality. If space isn't what we thought it was, then what is it?
In Spooky Action at a Distance, George Musser sets out to answer that question, offering a provocative exploration of nonlocality and a celebration of the scientists who are trying to explain it. Musser guides us on an epic journey into the lives of experimental physicists observing particles acting in tandem, astronomers finding galaxies that look statistically identical, and cosmologists hoping to unravel the paradoxes surrounding the big bang. He traces the often contentious debates over nonlocality through major discoveries and disruptions of the twentieth century and shows how scientists faced with the same undisputed experimental evidence develop wildly different explanations for that evidence. Their conclusions challenge our understanding of not only space and time but also the origins of the universe-and they suggest a new grand unified theory of physics. Delightfully readable, Spooky Action at a Distance is a mind-bending voyage to the frontiers of modern physics that will change the way we think about reality.

◆全宇宙第一本黑洞的傳記!

◆2017年諾貝爾物理學獎得主的研究焦點!

◆美國物理科學寫作大獎二度得主、美國物理學會安德魯哲鎂大獎(此獎表彰年度物理科學最有貢獻者)得主最新力作


黑洞是個古怪詭異的概念,是時空中的深淵——連光線都無法逃逸!科學家深信大自然不會這麼瘋狂亂來,簡直違反了所有的邏輯!

「黑洞應該隸屬奇幻神話的範疇,是吸血鬼或滴水怪的同類。」


古老格言有云:任何真理都必須經過三個階段——受奚落;引起強烈反對;最後變成不證自明。黑洞,結結實實走過這三個歷程。


「等我們認清宇宙有多奇怪時,才能明白宇宙有多簡單。」

——惠勒(當代美國相對論泰斗)


高涌泉(國立台灣大學物理系教授)熱情推薦


重量級科學作家芭杜席雅克結合物理專業和俐落的新聞寫作,創作出宛如章回小說的科普佳構。這是關於黑洞如何引起偉大思想家如愛因斯坦、惠勒、霍金等人如何激戰、沮喪、又如何振奮的動人故事,他們的貢獻又是如何完全改變我們對宇宙的看法。


作者也告訴我們黑洞如何替愛因斯坦平反,將他最偉大的成就「廣義相對論」從歷史的陰暗角落帶回物理的亮麗舞台。


直到天文學家發現中子星和黑洞等令人驚異的現象,一度沉寂的宇宙才轉化為愛因斯坦口中的完整體系。這個充滿巨大能量的宇宙秩序,也只有透過相對論才能讓人了解。


本書出版正值相對論問世百周年紀念;2017年諾貝爾物理獎得主索恩等人,更找到了這片宇宙最重要的一塊拼圖——黑洞互撞產生的重力波。


從小道消息、鄉野傳奇到驗明正身、黃袍加身的明日之星,

只應出現在神話或科幻小說的「好主意」,果然真實存在。

尖端科學家競逐聖杯的故事還沒結束,黑洞的研究方興未艾!


【國內外專業推薦】(按姓氏筆畫序) 


《黑洞簡史》展示了科普應有的模樣:想知道黑洞嗎?那就別多管傳統的課程,直接打開本書吧!

——余海峯(瑞典皇家理工學院粒子及天體粒子物理組博士)


本書作者娓娓道來黑洞的歷史,不過度著墨學理,卻帶著一種類似章回小說的文學趣味,引人入勝。

——陳丕燊(國立台灣大學梁次震宇宙學講座教授兼梁次震宇宙學與粒子天文物理學研究中心主任)


黑洞的觀測仍在持續進行中……讀者埋首閱讀之餘,不妨仰望銀河深處,對黑洞這個獨角獸,你仍可充滿幻想。

——溫文鈺(中原大學物理系教授)


芭杜席雅克的新書是經過透徹的研究,同時洞察科學事業的本質。文筆優美,黑洞迷會深深愛上這本書。

——萊特曼(Alan Lightman),著有《愛因斯坦的夢》與《偶然的宇宙》


讓人目不轉睛、影響力超強的一本書……芭杜席亞克提供讀者最佳視野,一睹古往今來最有名的科學家怎麼對付宇宙間最奇怪的物體——黑洞。

——黎斯(Adam Riess),二〇一一年諾貝爾物理學獎得主


天文學家花了五十年的時間把黑洞從荒唐的概念變成星系中最重要的物體。芭杜席亞克也達成同樣的功績,這本書令人愛不釋手。

——梭貝爾(Dava Sobel),著有《經線》


芭杜席雅克帶我們走上魔幻般的黑洞旅程,展現出這個概念的美麗與神祕;黑洞也曾迷住了愛因斯坦和霍金等科學家。

——艾薩克森(Walter Isaacson),亞斯本研究院執行長,著有《富蘭克林》、《愛因斯坦》與《賈伯斯》


充滿魅力、深具權威,《黑洞簡史》追溯一個真的很奇怪的概念,從實驗性的推測到無可避免的現實。芭杜席雅克筆下的故事令人難以抗拒,有多變的轉折、稀奇古怪的真相、知識分子的抱怨與個人的冒險。

——賈雅沃德哈納(Ray Jayawardhana),著有《微中子獵人》




出版社  貓頭鷹 (城邦)

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