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1 Beaverton Physics- Cosmology

Gravity's Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos

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Gravity's Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

We've long understood black holes to be the points at which the universe as we know it comes to an end. Often billions of times more massive than the Sun, they lurk in the inner sanctum of almost every galaxy of stars in the universe. They're mysterious chasms so destructive and unforgiving that not even light can escape their deadly wrath.

Recent research, however, has led to a cascade of new discoveries that have revealed an entirely different side to black holes. As the astrophysicist Caleb Scharf reveals in Gravity's Engines, these chasms in space-time don't just vacuum up everything that comes near them; they also spit out huge beams and clouds of matter. Black holes blow bubbles.

With clarity and keen intellect, Scharf masterfully explains how these bubbles profoundly rearrange the cosmos around them. Engaging with our deepest questions about the universe, he takes us on an intimate journey through the endlessly colorful place we call our galaxy and reminds us that the Milky Way sits in a special place in the cosmic zoo — a "sweet spot" of properties. Is it coincidental that we find ourselves here at this place and time? Could there be a deeper connection between the nature of black holes and their role in the universe and the phenomenon of life? We are, after all, made of the stuff of stars.

Review:

"'Weird, destructive, time-warping, overwhelming, alien... fearsomely noisy and rambunctious,' black holes are the bad boys of the universe. And according to Scharf, director of Columbia University's Astrobiology Center, black holes also play a critical role in shaping the universe. With gravity so great that not even light can escape, massive black holes are invisible. The only way to detect these 'lords of gravity' is by looking for the energy from the shock waves created as they gulp down matter. Thanks to X-ray telescopes like the Chandra Space Telescope, astronomers have found energy coming from the hearts of galaxies, including our own Milky Way. After a quick, nontechnical overview of how black holes are created, Scharf discusses how they power galactic dynamics. The most massive grow dim relatively quickly, exhausting their food supply, while a smaller black hole can burn for billions of years, varying from 'simmering' beast to 'blazing pyre' and back. They cast off ripples of energy, pushing galactic dust and gases outward and slowing stellar formation. Scharf's explanations are vivid and accessible, evoking the awe of cosmic grandeur in a way that's as humbling as it is fascinating. Agent: Deirdre Mullane, Mullane Literary Associates." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"In Gravity's Engines, Caleb Scharf tells the mind-blowing story of 'supermassive black holes, the true masters of the Universe.' Black holes are smaller than the Solar System yet project their power across the cosmos, sculpting entire galaxies of stars. They might appear esoteric and remote, but as Scharf explains, life on Earth may have been utterly impossible without them." Marcus Chown, author of Solar System and Solar System for iPad

Review:

"Caleb Scharf's fun book takes you behind the scenes of the universe itself, to see how the celestial heavyweights we call 'black holes' help shape the cosmos." Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, and author of From Eternity to Here

Review:

"An intelligent explanation of a weird but essential feature of the universe...rich, satisfying." Kirkus

Review:

"The subtitle of this most readable book about supermassive black holes exemplifies Scharf's playful tone....Highly recommended. Teen and adult fans of astronomy, as well as scientists looking for ways to explain black holes to nonscientists, will all enjoy this text." Library Journal (starred review)

Synopsis:

One of The Barnes and Noble Review Editors Picks: Best Nonfiction of 2012

Selected by The Christian Science Monitor as one of “21 smart nonfiction titles we think you'll enjoy this summer”

Selected by The New Scientist as one of 10 books to look out for in 2012

Weve long understood black holes to be the points at which the universe as we know it comes to an end. Often billions of times more massive than the Sun, they lurk in the inner sanctum of almost every galaxy of stars in the universe. Theyre mysterious chasms so destructive and unforgiving that not even light can escape their deadly wrath.

Recent research, however, has led to a cascade of new discoveries that have revealed an entirely different side to black holes. As the astrophysicist Caleb Scharf reveals in Gravitys Engines, these chasms in space-time dont just vacuum up everything that comes near them; they also spit out huge beams and clouds of matter. Black holes blow bubbles.

With clarity and keen intellect, Scharf masterfully explains how these bubbles profoundly rearrange the cosmos around them. Engaging with our deepest questions about the universe, he takes us on an intimate journey through the endlessly colorful place we call our galaxy and reminds us that the Milky Way sits in a special place in the cosmic zoo—a “sweet spot” of properties. Is it coincidental that we find ourselves here at this place and time? Could there be a deeper connection between the nature of black holes and their role in the universe and the phenomenon of life? We are, after all, made of the stuff of stars.

Synopsis:

Weve long understood black holes to be the points at which the universe as we know it comes to an end. Often billions of times more massive than the Sun, they lurk in the inner sanctum of almost every galaxy of stars in the universe. Theyre mysterious chasms so destructive and unforgiving that not even light can escape their deadly wrath.

Recent research, however, has led to a cascade of new discoveries that have revealed an entirely different side to black holes. As the astrophysicist Caleb Scharf reveals in Gravitys Engines, these chasms in space-time dont just vacuum up everything that comes near them; they also spit out huge beams and clouds of matter. Black holes blow bubbles.

With clarity and keen intellect, Scharf masterfully explains how these bubbles profoundly rearrange the cosmos around them. Engaging with our deepest questions about the universe, he takes us on an intimate journey through the endlessly colorful place we call our galaxy and reminds us that the Milky Way sits in a special place in the cosmic zoo—a “sweet spot” of properties. Is it coincidental that we find ourselves here at this place and time? Could there be a deeper connection between the nature of black holes and their role in the universe and the phenomenon of life? We are, after all, made of the stuff of stars.

About the Author

Caleb Scharf is the director of Columbia University's Astrobiology Center. His Life, Unbounded blog was named one of the "hottest science blogs" by The Guardian. He has written for New Scientist, Science, Nature, and more. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

PREFACE

1. DARK STAR

2. A MAP OF FOREVER

3. ONE HUNDRED BILLION WAYS TO THE BOTTOM

4. THE FEEDING HABITS OF NONILLION-POUND GORILLAS

5. BUBBLES

6. A DISTANT SIREN

7. ORIGINS: PART I

8. ORIGINS: PART II

9. THERE IS GRANDEUR

NOTES

INDEX

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374114121
Author:
Scharf, Caleb
Publisher:
Scientific American
Author:
R, F.
Author:
Scharf, Caleb A.
Subject:
Cosmology
Subject:
Physics-Astrophysics
Subject:
Astronomy - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20120831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16 Black-and-White Illustrations/Notes/I
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Gravity's Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$17.50 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux - English 9780374114121 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'Weird, destructive, time-warping, overwhelming, alien... fearsomely noisy and rambunctious,' black holes are the bad boys of the universe. And according to Scharf, director of Columbia University's Astrobiology Center, black holes also play a critical role in shaping the universe. With gravity so great that not even light can escape, massive black holes are invisible. The only way to detect these 'lords of gravity' is by looking for the energy from the shock waves created as they gulp down matter. Thanks to X-ray telescopes like the Chandra Space Telescope, astronomers have found energy coming from the hearts of galaxies, including our own Milky Way. After a quick, nontechnical overview of how black holes are created, Scharf discusses how they power galactic dynamics. The most massive grow dim relatively quickly, exhausting their food supply, while a smaller black hole can burn for billions of years, varying from 'simmering' beast to 'blazing pyre' and back. They cast off ripples of energy, pushing galactic dust and gases outward and slowing stellar formation. Scharf's explanations are vivid and accessible, evoking the awe of cosmic grandeur in a way that's as humbling as it is fascinating. Agent: Deirdre Mullane, Mullane Literary Associates." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "In Gravity's Engines, Caleb Scharf tells the mind-blowing story of 'supermassive black holes, the true masters of the Universe.' Black holes are smaller than the Solar System yet project their power across the cosmos, sculpting entire galaxies of stars. They might appear esoteric and remote, but as Scharf explains, life on Earth may have been utterly impossible without them."
"Review" by , "Caleb Scharf's fun book takes you behind the scenes of the universe itself, to see how the celestial heavyweights we call 'black holes' help shape the cosmos." Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, and author of From Eternity to Here
"Review" by , "An intelligent explanation of a weird but essential feature of the universe...rich, satisfying."
"Review" by , "The subtitle of this most readable book about supermassive black holes exemplifies Scharf's playful tone....Highly recommended. Teen and adult fans of astronomy, as well as scientists looking for ways to explain black holes to nonscientists, will all enjoy this text."
"Synopsis" by ,

One of The Barnes and Noble Review Editors Picks: Best Nonfiction of 2012

Selected by The Christian Science Monitor as one of “21 smart nonfiction titles we think you'll enjoy this summer”

Selected by The New Scientist as one of 10 books to look out for in 2012

Weve long understood black holes to be the points at which the universe as we know it comes to an end. Often billions of times more massive than the Sun, they lurk in the inner sanctum of almost every galaxy of stars in the universe. Theyre mysterious chasms so destructive and unforgiving that not even light can escape their deadly wrath.

Recent research, however, has led to a cascade of new discoveries that have revealed an entirely different side to black holes. As the astrophysicist Caleb Scharf reveals in Gravitys Engines, these chasms in space-time dont just vacuum up everything that comes near them; they also spit out huge beams and clouds of matter. Black holes blow bubbles.

With clarity and keen intellect, Scharf masterfully explains how these bubbles profoundly rearrange the cosmos around them. Engaging with our deepest questions about the universe, he takes us on an intimate journey through the endlessly colorful place we call our galaxy and reminds us that the Milky Way sits in a special place in the cosmic zoo—a “sweet spot” of properties. Is it coincidental that we find ourselves here at this place and time? Could there be a deeper connection between the nature of black holes and their role in the universe and the phenomenon of life? We are, after all, made of the stuff of stars.

"Synopsis" by ,
Weve long understood black holes to be the points at which the universe as we know it comes to an end. Often billions of times more massive than the Sun, they lurk in the inner sanctum of almost every galaxy of stars in the universe. Theyre mysterious chasms so destructive and unforgiving that not even light can escape their deadly wrath.

Recent research, however, has led to a cascade of new discoveries that have revealed an entirely different side to black holes. As the astrophysicist Caleb Scharf reveals in Gravitys Engines, these chasms in space-time dont just vacuum up everything that comes near them; they also spit out huge beams and clouds of matter. Black holes blow bubbles.

With clarity and keen intellect, Scharf masterfully explains how these bubbles profoundly rearrange the cosmos around them. Engaging with our deepest questions about the universe, he takes us on an intimate journey through the endlessly colorful place we call our galaxy and reminds us that the Milky Way sits in a special place in the cosmic zoo—a “sweet spot” of properties. Is it coincidental that we find ourselves here at this place and time? Could there be a deeper connection between the nature of black holes and their role in the universe and the phenomenon of life? We are, after all, made of the stuff of stars.

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