Heavenly Knowledge An Astrophysicist Seeks Wisdom in the Stars

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9780380974122: Heavenly Knowledge An Astrophysicist Seeks Wisdom in the Stars
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"I enthusiastically embrace the fabulous new discoveries of astrophysics, but I do not want to stop there. I want these discoveries to swim in our imaginations, to open our hearts to new ways of thinking and feeling about life, about men and women, about catastrophes and rituals. I want us all to hear how the music of the spheres resonates with the music of our hearts."

With these words, Dr. Fiorella Terenzi launches readers on a thrilling, emotional and empowering journey that extends from the farthest reaches of space to the innermost secrets of the soul. No one can better serve as inspirational teacher and guide on this very personal expedition to humanity s place in the universe. Internationally renowned both as an astrophysicist and a recording artist, Dr. Terenzi performed the first experiment in acoustic astronomy--translating radio waves from distant galaxies into audible sound. She leads a new movement blending science and art, knowledge and emotion.

Dr. Terenzi shows that most of us have heretofore contemplated only portions of the majesty of the cosmos. In HEAVENLY KNOWLEDGE, she presents clear and accessible scientific facts, then goes much farther she also makes unique connections between the way we live our daily lives and the vast universe that surrounds us. Through her telescope, Dr. Terenzi brings to life a sensual universe where comets roar through space, spreading life like the process of human reproduction; the hidden galactic core becomes a metaphor for self-knowledge; and dying stars act out great truths of being, nothingness, and rebirth.

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About the Author:

DR. FIORELLA TERENZI has a doctorate in physics from the University of Milan, with specialization in astrophysics. She has studied opera and composition and taught math and physics.

At the Computer Audio Research Laboratory, University of California San Diego, she developed techniques to convert radio waves from galaxies into sound-released on her CD, Music From the Galaxies (Island Records). Her CD-ROM, Invisible Universe (Voyager), combined astronomy and music to present the universe beyond sight and won the Significant Achievement Award for "Most Creative Application of Multimedia in Higher and Adult Education."

In lectures and performances on television and at planetariums in the U.S., Europe and Japan, Dr. Terenzi has combined science and art to awaken people to the universe around them. She is the first astrophysicist/recording artist member of both the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the American Astronomical Society. She lives in New York and Los Angeles.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A Renaissance woman equates the Big Bang of interstellar expansion with the bang of sexual explosion. Terenzi's credentials as an astrophysicist (she has a doctorate from the University of Milan) seem to be solid, as does the interest in music nurtured from her childhood. Terenzi has gone on to use computers to translate galactic radio waves into music, creating so-called acoustic astronomy. She has made galactic music CDs and videos and developed an attention-getting lecture series, an ``academic striptease.'' She enters the lecture hall in her white lab coat, ``faux reading glasses,'' hair in a bun. A lecture on galaxies begins in staid fashion but gradually veers in other directions. She pulls on a ``shoulder strap keyboard'' and accompanies herself as she sings songs she has composed in celebration of the cosmos. She sheds her glasses, hairpins, and lab coat, emerging in a sexy silver suit, demonstrating her transformation into the ``real meDivadoc,'' and encouraging those in the audience ``to reinvent themselves just as I have reinvented myself.'' Silver suit aside, Terenzi's main point is that hearing is as important as seeing. If radio waves can be turned into visuals, she asks, why can't they be turned into aurals? Whether or not her connections with the stars give readers true insight into the universe is problematic: ``[The constellation] Orion is looking back at me. . . . His fiery explosions of passion make my body tremble.'' This book intersperses such personal experiences with cool scientific definitions of such astral phenomena as quasars and black holes. The author also playfully renames her favorite stars and draws lessons in life from astronomical forces. The music of the spheres reinterpreted to a New Age beatwith a short course in astronomy thrown in. (b&w photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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