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Gravity's Fatal Attraction
Black Holes in the Universe

2nd Edition


  • Date Published: April 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521717939

$ 56.99

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About the Authors
  • Richly illustrated with the images from observatories on the ground and in space, and computer simulations, this book shows how black holes were discovered, and discusses our current understanding of their role in cosmic evolution. This second edition covers new discoveries made in the past decade, including definitive proof of a black hole at the center of the Milky Way, evidence that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating, and the new appreciation of the connection between black holes and galaxy formation. There are entirely new chapters on gamma-ray bursts and cosmic feedback. Begelman and Rees blend theoretical arguments with observational results to demonstrate how both approaches contributed to this subject. Clear illustrations and photographs reveal the strange and amazing workings of our universe. The engaging style makes this book suitable for introductory undergraduate courses, amateur astronomers, and all readers interested in astronomy and physics.

    • Covers new discoveries made in the past decade, with two entirely new chapters on gamma-ray bursts and cosmic feedback
    • Richly illustrated with clear, explanatory images revealing the strange and amazing workings of our universe
    • Engaging style makes it suitable for introductory undergraduate courses, amateur astronomers, and all readers interested in astronomy and physics
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Martin Rees and Mitchell Begelman are probably the world's leading authorities in the astrophysics of black holes.' Stephen W. Hawking

    'Martin Rees is one of the great astronomers of our generation, and this felicitous collaboration with Mitchell Begelman brings alive a subject replete with wonder and mystery - without losing the hard edge of scientific rigour. An exhilarating read!' Paul Davies, author of The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World

    'Martin Rees and Mitchell Begelman have provided us with a dramatic, elegant, and fully authoritative account of [black holes], and how they fit into our modern picture of the Universe.' Roger Penrose, author of The Emperor's New Mind

    'A terrific book, I doubt that you could find a more comprehensive and authoritative popular account of this spectacular subject.' Marcus Chown, New Scientist

    'An excellent beginner's account of the discovery of black holes and their importance in astrophysics today.' Frank E. Reed, Sky and Telescope

    'This colourful and easy to read … book aims to explain what is perhaps the most mysterious and cataclysmically final of all entities in the Universe: black holes. The witty style and clarity of dejargonised text with all the essential concepts and definitions well explained and illustrated make for a book that is a state-of-the-art authority on the subject … Highly recommended.' FAS Newsletter

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: April 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521717939
    • length: 312 pages
    • dimensions: 245 x 190 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.862kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Gravity triumphant
    2. Stars and their fates
    3. Black holes in our backyard
    4. Galaxies and their nuclei
    5. Quasars and kin
    6. Jets
    7. Blasts from the past
    8. Black holes in hibernation
    9. Cosmic feedback
    10. Checking up on Einstein
    11. Through the horizon
    Appendix: Gravity and cosmic dimensions

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    Gravity's Fatal Attraction

    Mitchell Begelman, Martin Rees

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  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Advanced Topics in Physics: Black Holes
    • Astronomy
    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies and the Big Bang
    • Astrophysical Concepts
    • Black Holes
    • Black Holes & The Big Bang
    • Black Holes and Beyond
    • Black Holes and Cosmic Evolution
    • Black Holes and Time Warps
    • Black Holes in the Universe
    • Black holes, quasars, the Universe
    • Compact Objects
    • Compact Stellar Remnants: White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars and Black Holes
    • Computational Methods of Theoretical Astrophysics
    • Core Cosmology
    • Cosmic Black Holes (Course to be proposed)
    • Descriptive Astronomy (a modified version focussing on black holes)
    • Descriptive Astronomy/Galaxies, Quasars, & Cosmology
    • Directed study: Cosmology
    • Einstein's Universe: High Energy Astronomy
    • Freshman seminar, or possibly Basic Astronomy
    • Galaxy Evolution
    • Gravitational Astrophysics
    • Life and Death in the Universe
    • Mathematical Methods
    • Modern Physics (Relativity)
    • Physics for Science majors
    • Radiative Processes in Astrophysics
    • Space Exploration
    • Stellar Astrophysics
    • The Cosmic Horizon - not sure what the difference is bewteen a desk or exam copy.
    • The Nature of the Universe
    • The Roots of Relativity
    • Topics in Modern Astronomy, Galactic Dynamics
  • Authors

    Mitchell Begelman, University of Colorado, Boulder
    Mitchell Begelman is Chairman of the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences and Fellow of JILA, at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has won several awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, Sloan Research Fellowship, and the American Astronomical Society Warner Prize.

    Martin Rees, University of Cambridge
    Martin Rees is President of the Royal Society, Astronomer Royal and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He is the foremost astronomer in the UK, a winner of the Gold Medal of the Royal Society, and has written several books on physics for a general audience.

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