Einstein's Telescope: The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe

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9780393338010: Einstein's Telescope: The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe
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“Splendidly satisfying reading, designed for a nonspecialist audience.”―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Evalyn Gates, a talented astrophysicist, transports readers to the edge of contemporary science to explore the revolutionary tool―”Einstein’s telescope”―that is unlocking the secrets of the Universe. Einstein’s telescope, or gravitational lensing, is so-called for the way gravity causes space to distort and allow massive objects to act like “lenses,” amplifying and distorting the images of objects behind them. By allowing for the detection of mass where no light is found, scientists can map out the distribution of dark matter and come a step closer to teasing out the effects of dark energy on the Universe―which may forever upend long-held notions about where the Universe came from and where it is going. 8 pages of color; 40 b/w illustrations

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About the Author:

Evalyn Gates is the assistant director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, a senior research associate at the University of Chicago, and the former astronomy director of the Adler Planetarium. Her writing has appeared in Physics Today and the Chicago Tribune.

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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.)
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