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Publisher's Summary

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.

The quest for gravitational waves involved years of risky research and many personal and professional struggles that threatened to derail one of the world's largest scientific endeavors. Govert Schilling takes listeners to sites where these stories unfolded - including Japan's KAGRA detector, Chile's Atacama Cosmology Telescope, the South Pole's BICEP detectors, and the United States' LIGO labs. He explains the seeming impossibility of developing technologies sensitive enough to detect waves from two colliding black holes in the very distant universe, and describes the astounding precision of the LIGO detectors. Along the way, Schilling clarifies concepts such as general relativity, neutron stars, and the big bang using language that listeners with little scientific background can grasp.

©2017 Govert Schilling (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"An exciting history of the second great breakthrough of 21st-century physics." ( Kirkus, starred review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Quidne IT
  • 11-10-2017

Absolutely Loved it.

Absolutely loved this book. Easy to follow, even if you are not an Astro Physicist. Finally got a good understanding of the expansion of spacetime, how to understand the Big Bang & Gravitational Waves.

Great details on the engineering of LIGO.
And off course the first detection of Gravitational Waves in late 2015.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • kristen
  • 20-11-2017

Enjoyable journey through space-time!

The author does an outstanding job of relating the history of the search for Einstein Waves in a way that the layman can easily follow.

The science is on point but necessarily devoid of complexity, making this a wonderful resource for non-physicists.

I enjoyed it from start to finish.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • 21-07-2018

basic info repeated

I ended up liking this book but the best gravity wave book hasn't been written yet.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marc
  • 24-09-2018

Not so much about Ripples, but about measuring

Since this is the second time I review this title - I guess Audible deleted my previous review - I am summing up. I just don't have the will to give all the arguments over again that I gave the first time.
This book is undecided between telling a personal journey with anecdotes, vast amounts of name-dropping and place-mentioning that don't help with understanding the topic at all. and giving an insight into how "measuring quantum physics" developed over a century. While most of the historical sidenotes are interesting by themselves, they don't "help" that much with understanding what "ripples in spacetime ARE".
If you have a more or less "solid" background in what the current state of affairs in physics are, most of this book's content will be well known to you. If you don't you may find yourself slightly lost at times. So it *would* have been the subjective, personal experiences the author has "glimpse through" that could have made this a fascinating listen, but those incidents are rare, unconnected and unmotivated.

Narration is good, but very slow. I listened at 1.25 speed and that was fine.

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  • Kristen Tahirak
  • 07-09-2018

Not horrible

Some interesting nuggets of information if you’re willing to wade through the superfluous, repetitive and watered-down cosmology background, as well as the author’s perplexingly continual and somewhat maddening practice of asking himself a question and then answering it. Why does he repeatedly do this? I know not.

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  • John
  • 06-08-2018

Good overview

Some historical science (something that is overplayed, less history more science please), overall good overview of the science of current and future gravitational wave detectors.

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  • Dinesh Kulkarni
  • 23-07-2018

Truly enriching!!

One of the best books on the subject of cosmology!! its makes the concepts very simple for understanding. story telling makes it highly engaging.

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  • Visanu Euarchukiati
  • 25-02-2018

Great overview, ear opener to gravitational wave

A metaphor given in the book is quite appropriate. A deaf jungle trekker suddenly hears--like our experience with gravitational wave. The story is well laid out, with background stretching back centuries. The LISA pathfinder section is a little confusing.

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  • Freddy Bastiat
  • 23-02-2018

Very interesting

Hard to follow at some points, but that is the nature of the topic. Will make you feel small, insignificant and unintelligent when it comes to the scope of the universe.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-12-2017

Interesting, but a little technical for most.

I enjoyed it, but I think that it goes a little into the technical for a lot of people. Science buffs are the target audience. Overall, though, I recommend it for its historical scope and for highlighting the people behind the discoveries. This four stars is to give pause to those looking for a light read, not to discourage those already excited about the expansion of our ability to understand the universe.

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  • Andy lane
  • 24-10-2018

Great content shame about the American narrator.

As above, great content told in an engaging way. Sadly the narrator spoiled it somewhat by his confusing and incorrect use of decimal language for example instead of saying one point two three four five six he would say one and twenty three thousand four hundred and fifty six hundred thousandths which spoils the flow as I translated his American into correct mathematical language. Sounds petty but it really grates. Very sad as the author did an amazing job of a difficult subject matter. If you can deal with the jarring numeric language its a great book.

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  • JTT
  • 02-07-2018

great book

exciting history and contemporary research of gravitational waves and the universe. highly recommended. told as a thriller

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  • Unretired
  • 15-05-2018

Outstanding

Really enjoyed this book. Some amazing content. Pitched just right for a moderately knowledgeable amateur to be able to follow the main thrust of the arguments.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-2018

New information instead of another history lesson

Great stuff and learnt lots of new things instead of the usual history lessons that are regularly told in these kind of books.