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Black Holes: The Key to Understanding the Universe

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A Brief History of Time for the 21st Century

At the heart of our galaxy lies a monster so deadly it can bend space, throwing vast jets of radiation millions of light years out into the cosmos. Its kind were the very first inhabitants of the universe, the black holes.

Today, across the universe, at the heart of every galaxy, and dotted throughout, mature black holes are creating chaos. And in a quiet part of the universe, the Swift satellite has picked up evidence of a gruesome death caused by one of these dark powers. High energy X-ray flares shooting out from deep within the Draco constellation are thought to be the dying cries of a white dwarf star being ripped apart by the intense tides of a supermassive black hole – heating it to millions of degrees as it is shredded at the event horizon.

They have the power to wipe out any of the universe’s other inhabitants, but no one has ever seen a black hole itself die. But 1.8 billion light years away, the LIGO instruments have recently detected something that could be the closest a black hole gets to death. Gravitational waves given off as two enormous black holes merge together. And now scientists think that these gravitational waves could be evidence of two black holes connecting to form a wormhole – a link through space and time. It seems outlandish, but today’s physicists are daring to think the unthinkable – that black holes could connect us to another universe.

At their very heart, black holes are also where Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity is stretched in almost unimaginable ways, revealing black holes as the key to our understanding of the fundamentals of our universe and perhaps all other universes.

Join Professors Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw in exploring our universe’s most mysterious inhabitants, how they are formed, why they are essential components of every galaxy, including our own, and what secrets they still hold, waiting to be discovered.

Συγγραφείς: Cox Brian, Forshaw Jeff
Εκδότης: WILLIAM COLLINS
Σελίδες: 320
ISBN: 9780008390655
Εξώφυλλο: Μαλακό Εξώφυλλο
Αριθμός Έκδοσης: 1
Έτος έκδοσης: 2022

Professor Brian Cox, OBE is a particle physicist, a Royal Society research fellow, and a professor at the University of Manchester as well as researcher on one of the most ambitious experiments on Earth, the ATLAS experiment on the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. He is best known to the public as a science broadcaster and presenter of the highly popular BBC2 series Wonders of the Solar System. He was also the keyboard player in the UK pop band D:Ream in the 1990s.


Jeffrey Robert Forshaw (born 1968) is a British particle physicist with a special interest in quantum chromodynamics (QCD): the study of the behaviour of subatomic particles, using data from the HERA particle acceleratorTevatron particle accelerator and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. Since 2004 he has been professor of particle physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester.

He is the co-author of five books, including the popular science books Why Does E=mc²?The Quantum Universe and Universal: A guide to the cosmos, co-written with physicist Brian Cox. He has also written over 100 peer reviewed papers published in scientific journals  and speaks at international science festivals for children and adults. He frequently acts as science consultant to the BBC and other media and is a columnist for The Observer.

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