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Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space

Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space (Paperback)

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Synopsis

The full inside story of the detection of gravitational waves at LIGO, one of the most ambitious feats in scientific history



*Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in the Sunday Times*



'This is empirical poetry. A fascinating tale of human curiosity beautifully told, and with black holes and lasers too' Robin Ince



In 1916 Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves: miniscule ripples in the very fabric of spacetime generated by unfathomably powerful events. If such vibrations could somehow be recorded, we could observe our universe for the first time through sound: the hissing of the Big Bang, the low tones of merging galaxies, the drumbeat of two black holes collapsing into one...



In 2016 a team of hundreds of scientists at work on a billion-dollar experiment made history when they announced the first ever detection of a gravitational wave, confirming Einstein's prediction a century ago.



Based on complete access to LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) and the scientists who created it, Black Hole Blues offers a first-hand account of this astonishing achievement: an intimate story of cutting-edge science at its most awe-inspiring and ambitious.

Janna Levin is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Barnard College of Columbia University and Director of Sciences at Pioneer Works, a centre for art and innovation in Brooklyn. She has contributed to the understanding of black holes, the cosmology of extra dimensions and gravitational waves. She was the first scientist-in-residence at the Ruskin School of Fine Art and Drawing at Oxford University with an award from NESTA, and was recently named a Guggenheim fellow. Her previous books are How the Universe Got Its Spots and a novel, A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, which won the PEN/Bingham prize. She has also appeared at TED and contributes to numerous radio and television programmes.

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