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Einstein's Telescope: The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe Hardcover – February 23, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0393062380 ISBN-10: 0393062384 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (February 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393062384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393062380
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There is far more to the universe than meets the eye: invisible dark matter and dark energy constitute the vast bulk of the cosmos and are responsible for its accelerating expansion. Gates, assistant director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, explores the science of these invisible phenomena and the questions they raise about the universe's origins, its present and its future. Gates explains how scientists discovered the existence of dark matter and their theories about the nature of the particles (with names like WIMPs) that form it. Astrophysicists have found tools to measure the invisible mass: the stars themselves. Drawing on Einstein's theory of general relativity, scientists can see dark matter using gravitational lensing—by measuring the deflection of light around a cosmic object, they can measure the object's mass. Presenting complicated topics concisely and clearly, Gates explains what we know about the universe, what scientists wish they knew, and what's at stake—the fate of the universe itself. 8 pages of color and 40 b&w illus. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Cogent review of this intriguing topic.
(Marcia Bartusiak -Washington Post )

In this highly informative book, Gates offers clear, accessible explanations of how gravitational lensing can…solve the [universe's] biggest mysteries.
(Amanda Gefter -New Scientist )

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I highly recommend for anyone interested in astrophysics.
obermail
This discovered dark matter itself can be used to probe for the imprint of dark energy (and the very structure of space and time).
Stephen Pletko
Evalyn Gates has done a very commendable job in writing this book about Einstein's Telescope.
Rao Addanki

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By J. Moran VINE VOICE on March 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In 1970 many physicists and cosmologists thought that we would soon know all the basic physical principles governing the universe. The Big Bang was largely confirmed by cosmic background radiation and we knew about expansion. Quantum mechanics ruled the small while the large was the domain of relativity. The two theories weren't linked yet, but it was merely a matter of a little more time and work. Success would bring an explanation unifying the four fundamental physical forces of the universe: Electromagnetism, the strong force (binding protons and neutrons together in atomic nuclei), the weak force (governing certain kinds of particle decay) and gravity. Surely the "theory of everything" was not far off.

Wrong. Observations in 1970 revealed that gravitational motions of gas clouds in the Andromeda galaxy were occurring at speeds far greater than the entire observed mass of that galaxy could account for. Similar problems detected in the 1930's involving motions of entire galaxies had long been disregarded. Soon other observations confirmed that so-called "ordinary matter" is insufficient to account for observed gravitational effects in the cosmos. Thus the universe must contain huge amounts of "dark matter," that we cannot observe and the composition of which we do not know (it is not made of the particles that constitute ordinary matter).

Then in 1998 reports of observations of distant supernovae revealed that the expansion of the universe was not slowing, as would be expected from long-term effects of gravity, but was instead accelerating. Something was overcoming the gravitational power of all of the matter in the universe. The acceleration, moreover, has not been present from the Big Bang on. For billions of years the speed of expansion slowed.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By David Nichols on June 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Astrophysicist Evalyn Gates brings the world of gravitational lensing and the search for the unknown constituents of the Universe to the reader in her book Einstein's Telescope. Gates has spent many years in this search, and this book is an excellent introduction and advanced discussion, laying the foundation for the work she (and others) will do over the next decade to unmask some of the great mysteries in cosmology and astrophysics.

Gates introduces a brief history of how scientists came to understand that dark matter and dark energy had to be part of our Universe in order to explain a few basic observations. Once she has offered the reader a framework for why we need to look more deeply at the way our Universe appears, Gates explains just what causes the "Einstein's Telescope" effect. This fascinating technique involves gravitational lensing of distant objects by massive objects sitting closer to the Earth. Often, the lenses are clusters of galaxies, and through the process of lensing more distant galaxies, we can learn how much mass is acting on the light of the distant sources, giving us insight into where dark matter may reside and exactly how it interacts with ordinary mass.

The book explains various theories of dark matter, primarily MACHOs and WIMPs, offers glimpses at the even more mysterious dark energy, for which there are no shortage of wild theories, and eventually goes deep into the cosmic web that may hold clues to the earliest formation of galaxies.

Later parts of the book, which may well be the strongest in what is a very solid presentation, describe the multiple experiments ongoing and various theories currently being formulated.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pletko on August 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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"What we have learned [about our Universe] is amazing. The Universe is 13.7 billion years old, it has a temperature of just under 3 degrees above absolute zero, and its spatial geometry is flat. The enormous expanse of space that we can see today, filled with hundreds of billions of galaxies, began as an intensely hot, almost infinitely dense soup of energy that has expanded and cooled since the beginning of time and space. Space itself is expanding in a great cosmic stretch that has recently begun to kick up a notch--the Universe is accelerating. And it is dark. The cosmic inventory is dominated by dark energy (72%) and dark matter (23%) [both of which we can't see]; normal matter, which comprises everything we [can see and] have ever been able to hold in our hands or examine with our instruments, comes in a distant third, contributing only about 5% of everything that is."

The above comes from the epilogue of this well-written, very informative book by Dr. Evalyn Gates, Assistant Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Chicago.

So what is this book about? As might be deduced from the above quotation, it's about the dark side of the Universe--dark matter, dark energy, even black holes.

Dark matter is the hypothetical matter that holds the galaxies together. WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particle), mentioned in this review's title, are one of the leading candidates for a type of dark matter. Dark energy is the hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to increase the rate of expansion of the Universe.
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