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Black Hole

How an Idea Abandoned by Newtonians, Hated by Einstein, and Gambled on by Hawking Became Loved
Narrated by: Randye Kaye
Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (65 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 escapes - not even light - seemed to confound all logic. This engrossing audiobook tells the story of the fierce black-hole debates and the contributions of Einstein, 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 Einstein'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.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of general relativity, Black Hole uncovers how the black hole really got its name and recounts the scientists' frustrating, exhilarating, and at times humorous battles over the acceptance of one of history's most dazzling ideas.

©2015 Marcia Bartusiak (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[T]horoughly researched, beautifully written, and full of insights about the nature of the scientific enterprise." (Alan Lightman, author of Einstein's Dreams)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great into to black holes

Excellent introduction to black hole science. Extremely clear and concise but reads a bit like a textbook. Even with its slightly dry tone, it is one of the most comprehensive books on black holes suitable for the nonscientist. There are many concepts associated with black holes that people tend to find confusing. This author has a gift for simplifying those concepts and packaging them for consumption by the masses. The chapter on quasars was absolutely fantastic. Definitely recommend to anyone who wants to know more about black holes.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well Written, Excellent Narration, Five Stars Plus

Black Hole, How an Idea Abandoned by Newtonians, Hated by Einstein, and Gambled on by Hawking Became Loved by Marcia Bartusiak, was so well done that I did not want to miss a single word; so ended up listening to half of the book twice when I got distracted. This is a great book. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I just found the book to interest me greatly. some of the history was surprising to me

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good science history - Solidified some black hole insights

Interesting history of how black holes came to be accepted as real rather than just theoretical objects. Also covered bits and pieces of the life histories of some of the key players in an interesting way. Helped give me some new insights into the nature of black holes, such as their startling similarities to fundamental particles. Left me wanting more on some of the less intuitive (less sensible? :-) aspects such as the theory that the size of the event horizon has an equivalence with a black hole’s entropy. Weird, wild physics!