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The Lighter Side of Gravity Paperback – October 13, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0521565653 ISBN-10: 0521565650 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (October 13, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521565650
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521565653
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,166,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...an accessible account of gravity, black holes and the Universe, has been updated, but he retains his sceptical views on the big bang. A refreshing alternative to the received wisdom..." New Scientist

Book Description

This updated edition includes the discovery of gigantic gravitational lenses in space, the findings of the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite, the detection of dark matter in galaxies, the investigation of the very early Universe, and other new ideas in cosmology.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Duwayne Anderson on July 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
It's always a pleasure to read a well-written book authored by a leading scientist. Such is the quality of Jayant V. Narlikar's book "The lighter side of gravity." One of the risks associated with writing any book on the leading edge of science, however, is that it will be obsolete almost before leaving the presses. Narlikar's book suffers somewhat from this problem. The book has an original publication date of 1982, and revised publication of 1996. Consequently, it misses some recent discoveries about black holes, experimental evidence of neutrino oscillation and its implications for neutrino mass, the mass of the universe, and the nature of dark matter.
The book offers a nice historical perspective, from Aristotle to Galileo and on to Newton and his laws of motion and gravitation. I particularly enjoyed the clear explanations surrounding the insight and possible clues that led Newton to the discovery of his law of gravitation.
The book's promotional litera! ture presents it as a layperson's guide to gravity, but without over-simplified (and erroneous) information. This is a high goal, and generally met, though the book's brevity might lead to some false notions. For example, the book portrays hydrogen burning as the fusing of four protons, with a helium-nucleus byproduct, two positrons, two neutrinos, and some energy. There is no mention of what theorists initially thought was the inadequacy of thermal energy to initiate fusion. There is no discussion of the importance of quantum tunneling, or the formation of helium 4 in stages (two protons form deuterium, from which helium 3 is formed, and then helium 4). Narlikar's book is not very long (only a little more than 200 pages) and could easily accommodate the extra detail.
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