Ripples on a Cosmic Sea: The Search for Gravitational Waves

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9780201360820: Ripples on a Cosmic Sea: The Search for Gravitational Waves

Most people live and work entirely oblivious to the fact that a myriad of ghostly ripples are passing through them all the time. Generated in the depths of space by colliding stars and black holes, exploding supernovas and quasars, these so-called gravitational waves are literally ripples in the fabric of space itself. Sweeping across the cosmos at the speed of light, they encode vital clues about the exotic systems that produced them. Predicted by Einstein over eighty years ago, but never detected in the laboratory, gravitational waves have proven elusive to scientists. In the first book for a general reader on these amazing waves, Blair and McNamara weave a thrilling tale about the race to build the first gravitational wave antenna—a challenge that has prompted physicists and astronomers to devise some of the most breathtaking technology the world has ever seen. What these scientists find will allow us to listen to the explosion of stars, the creation of black holes, even the sound of the Big Bang itself, and will undoubtedly chart a new course for astronomy in the coming millennium.

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About the Author:

David Blair is associate professor of physics at the University of Western Australia and one of the leading international authorities on gravitational waves.

Geoff McNamara is a science journalist.

From Library Journal:

This wonderful book is the product of the collaborative efforts of Blair, a leading international authority on gravitational waves, and McNamara, a science journalist. Nearly one-third of the book provides a basic explanation of modern-relativistic physics, with some of the clearest, easy-to-understand explanations of Einstein's theory available. This is essential as gravitational waves are, at least at present, only a prediction of Einstein's theory. Several chapters discuss quasars, pulsars, black holes, and things that go bang in the night. It is these stellar phenomena and collisions that generate gravitational waves that researchers hope to detect. This book does a wonderful job of capturing the excitement that scientists experience as they work at the frontiers of science. Recommended for informed lay readers and graduate students.AJames Olson, Northeastern Illinois Univ. Lib., Chicago
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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David Blair, Geoff Mcnamara
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