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Gravity's Fatal Attraction: Black Holes in the Universe (Scientific American Library Series) Paperback – January 15, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0716760290 ISBN-10: 0716760290

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Product Details

  • Series: Scientific American Library Series (Book 58)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W. H. Freeman (January 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0716760290
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716760290
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 9.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,247,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Martin Rees and Mitchell Begelman are probably the world's leading authorities on the astrophysics of black holes."--Stephen W. Hawking

"Martin Rees is one of the great astronomers of our generation, and this felicitous collaboration with Mitchell Begelman brings alive a subject replete with wonder and mystery-- without losing the hard edge of scientific rigour. An exhilarating read!"--Paul Davies, author of The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World

"Martin Rees and Mitchell Begelman have provided us with a dramatic, elegant, and fully authoritative account of [black holes], and of how they fit into our modern picture of the Universe."--Roger Penrose, author of The Emperor's New Mind

"A terrific book. I doubt that you could find a more comprehensive and authoritative popular account of this spectacular subject."--New Scientist

"An excellent beginner's account of the discovery of black holes and their importance in astrophysics today."--Sky and Telescope

Book Description

Richly illustrated in colour, this book is suitable for introductory undergraduate courses, amateur astronomers, and all readers interested in astronomy and physics. It shows how black holes were discovered, and discusses current understanding of their role in cosmic evolution. This second edition covers new discoveries made in the past decade. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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It is great for understanding Black holes and Gravity Waves.
BigDrM
The book is beautifully illustrated and the various topics are broken down in a logical and easily digestible order.
bykhed
Info in this book will tell you everything you wanted to know and more .
The One Kid Hifi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have a technical degree, and I have also read very many popular science books. This is without a doubt one of best. It does not shy away from including most of more technical aspects of astrophysics and yet at the same time it explains them clearly and with beautiful illustrations. If your interested in the math this book is obviously not for you, but if want to understand the physics behind the math then grab this book as fast as you can.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I do not hesitate to give this one five stars. This book is worth every cent and more that I paid for it; I am reading it for the third time. I have never run across a book on this subject that covers as much ground as this one does with explanations that are as lucid. I have recommended it to many, and will continue to do so. The quality of writing is marvelous, and the organization of the topics is first-rate. Clearly, the authors spent a lot of time with this one, and they did it right! Good work, guys.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By OrangeCrush on October 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If your interested in learning about Black Holes, the conditions that create them and our overall understanding of their effect on galactic evolution then look no further. Mitchell Begelman and Martin Rees do an outstanding job at presenting this material. Everything is covered here including how Black Holes were first theorized, how they were first discovered, the preconditions required for formation, and the current methods used to detect them. This latest edition covers the most recent discoveries including definitive proof that our own Milky Way harbors a massive black hole at its center.

Black Holes have quickly become one of the most popular fields in astronomy and cosmology and books on this subject aren't nearly as rare as they used to be. With that being said this is easily the best book I have read yet on this subject. If your even remotely interested in learning about Black Holes then this is where you want to start.

5 Stars!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By astro on January 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am defending my PhD thesis on black holes this spring. I bought this book for many of my relatives this holiday season.

For the science-loving, non-expert reader, this book is an excellent, intelligent and extremely up-to-date introduction to astrophysical black holes. The authors have done a phenomenal job of explaining the current scientific understanding of black holes, with hardly any math at all.
The book is filled to the brim with the cutting-edge hypotheses and observational evidence. The lucid explanations are accompanied by numerous colorful and informative illustrations and figures. Many of the pictures are adapted or taken directly from the most influential academic articles of the last 10 years. The authors also give brief sketches of the people behind the science, from Albert Einstein (whom everybody knows) to current leaders in the field such as Roger Blandford, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez (of whose work and names every astrophysicist --- but almost no one else --- knows).

I would also recommend this book to any interested college student or advanced high school student, as well as to interested teachers. I've taught physics and astronomy to students at those levels and given public lectures on black holes, and am always thinking about how to talk to non-experts about black holes. I've encountered few teachers and professors who could explain the subject better than Drs. Begelman and Rees have done in this book.

For any undergraduate or beginning graduate student considering doing astronomy or astrophysics for a living, I can't think of a more comprehensive or accessible overview of black holes.
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Format: Paperback
First chapter it really opens up to the rest of the book simply cannot skip the first chapter without gaining the ideology taught there.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It dispells some of the sensationalism associated with black holes and goes into some detail on a subject which needs more research.
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Format: Paperback
I had the pleasure of taking the survey version (no math) of Mitch Begelman's "Black Holes" class at the University of Colorado Boulder, where we used this as one of our textbooks. Professor Begelman is a leading authority on this topic, along with Sir Martin Rees. Both authors possess the rare ability to deliver high complex information in a way that a layman can understand. The book is beautifully illustrated and the various topics are broken down in a logical and easily digestible order. I also highly recommend "Black Holes and Time Warps" by Professor Kip Thorne of CalTech for those readers interested in better understanding the dynamics of these energetic phenomena.
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