Synopses & Reviews
For more than half a century, physicists and astronomers engaged in heated dispute over the possibility of black holes in the universe. The weirdly alien notion of a space-time abyss from which nothing escapesandmdash;not even lightandmdash;seemed to confound all logic. This engrossing book tells the story of the fierce black hole debates and the contributions of Einstein and Hawking and other leading thinkers who completely altered our view of the universe.
Renowned science writer Marcia Bartusiak shows how the black hole helped revive Einsteinandrsquo;s greatest achievement, the general theory of relativity, after decades during which it had been pushed into the shadows. Not until astronomers discovered such surprising new phenomena as neutron stars and black holes did the once-sedate universe transform into an Einsteinian cosmos, filled with sources of titanic energy that can be understood only in the light of relativity. This book celebrates the hundredth anniversary of general relativity, uncovers how the black hole really got its name, and recounts the scientistsandrsquo; frustrating, exhilarating, and at times humorous battles over the acceptance of one of historyandrsquo;s most dazzling ideas.
“Bartusiak's intelligent and engaging book may well become the standard popular account." –Washington Post
“Delivered with wit, clarity and occasional drama, Marcia Bartusiak's The Day We Found the Universe is a small wonder…. A science writer of rare gifts…Bartusiak manages to convey the mind-bending complexity of the astronomers' task and the scope of the work while never losing sight of the human elements (fame, ego, pioneer spirit, competitive drive) that drive the pursuit."–San Francisco Chronicle
“This tale is not about breakthroughs. It focuses on the dramatic insights, sidesteps and missed opportunities, persistence, pride and bits of luck that accompany the scientific process….Bartusiak's account never gets boring and never feels anticlimactic. Instead, moments of drama and intimacy make the reader forget…the final outcome: the Milky Way is merely one of many stellar collections in a vast universe."–Science News
The riveting and mesmerizing story behind a watershed period in human history, the discovery of the startling size and true nature of our universe.
On New Years Day in 1925, a young Edwin Hubble released his finding that our Universe was far bigger, eventually measured as a thousand trillion times larger than previously believed. Hubble’s proclamation sent shock waves through the scientific community. Six years later, in a series of meetings at Mount Wilson Observatory, Hubble and others convinced Albert Einstein that the Universe was not static but in fact expanding. Here Marcia Bartusiak reveals the key players, battles of will, clever insights, incredible technology, ground-breaking research, and wrong turns made by the early investigators of the heavens as they raced to uncover what many consider one of most significant discoveries in scientific history.
The contentious history of the idea of the black holeandmdash;the most fascinating and bizarre celestial object in the heavens
About the Author
Marcia Bartusiak is an award-winning author whose previous books include Through a Universe Darkly, Thursday’s Universe, Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony, and Archives of the Universe. Her work has appeared in such publications as National Geographic, Smithsonian, Discover, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. She teaches at MIT and lives in Sudbury, Massachusetts