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Publisher's Summary

A sweeping account of the century of experimentation that confirmed Einstein's general theory of relativity, bringing to life the science and scientists at the origins of relativity, the development of radio telescopes, the discovery of black holes and quasars, and the still unresolved place of gravity in quantum theory. 

Albert Einstein did nothing of note on May 29, 1919; yet that is when he became immortal. On that day, astronomer Arthur Eddington and his team observed a solar eclipse and found something extraordinary: gravity bends light, just as Einstein predicted. The findings confirmed the theory of general relativity, fundamentally changing our understanding of space and time. 

A century later, another group of astronomers is performing a similar experiment on a much larger scale. The Event Horizon Telescope, a globe-spanning array of radio dishes, is examining space surrounding Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. As Ron Cowen recounts, one foremost goal of the experiment is to determine whether Einstein was right on the details. Gravity lies at the heart of what we don't know about quantum mechanics, but tantalizing possibilities for deeper insight are offered by black holes. By observing starlight wrapping around Sagittarius A*, the telescope will not only provide the first direct view of an event horizon - a black hole's point of no return - but will also enable scientists to test Einstein's theory under the most extreme conditions. 

Gravity's Century shows how we got from the pivotal observations of the 1919 eclipse to the Event Horizon Telescope, and what is at stake today. Breaking down the physics in clear and approachable language, Cowen makes vivid how the quest to understand gravity is really the quest to comprehend the universe. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2019 Ron Cowen (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-10-2020

Good stuff

Great book, well read. Definitely worth it if you're into physics, particularly as it pertains to gravity and Einstein's work.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Bruce
  • 04-02-2021

gravity waves

if you ever wanted to know more about gravity waves , this is the book for you. It goes into lots of detail that Ordinary People can understand.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ken
  • 15-12-2020

incredible story!

This book gave a much better understanding of the science, math, and history behind relativity, and quantum mechanics. Good job!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-05-2021

I don't know what to say

I didn't pay attention at all. I don't know if it's because of the monotonous narrator or because of lot of equations, but I couldn't focus. I have read and listened several books about Einstein, relativity and science where I was so into it and many things stayed in my mind. But here, it was so unenjoyable. There was nothing interesting that would get my full attention. But maybe this book is more for real physicists that would appreciate it better.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-02-2021

review

l liked the simple enough for a non physicist to understand. liked the historical events.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-09-2021

Good summary of gravity issues

This book is half-way between dissemination of scientific knowledge and technical details, at the right proportion. To know what the state of the art is concerning gravity, it is an appropriate choice.

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  • John Haggerty
  • 08-09-2021

nice

gives you a history of gravity and black holes. I love it a lot.

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  • Amazing
  • 30-08-2021

A layperson's Comment

Not a book for the impatient reader/listener. Rather amazed at this ever evolving, abstruse subject and the amount of astronomical dart throwing by so many experts. At least we can taste the complexities while the articulate book narrator leads our curiosity all the way into a black hole, providing an ending.
The narrator eased my dread from start to finish. Thanks.

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  • nikkisprite
  • 13-08-2021

understandable and entertaining

The author does a good job of making a material a digestible. It was a little bit annoying when equations were being red because it's easier to see equations than hear them but all in all the book was a very enlightening read.

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  • David Smith
  • 01-08-2021

Writing errors...

...like “loaned from”. It seems that publishers do not want to pay for competent copy editors.

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