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Publisher's Summary

Imagine a region in space where the force of gravity is so strong that nothing - not even light - can escape. A region with physical conditions so extreme that they have not yet been reproduced in any terrestrial laboratory. A region so dense that an object as tiny as a walnut would have the same mass as our entire planet. This phenomenon is a black hole: one of the most exotic, mind-boggling, and profound subjects in astrophysics. Nearly everyone has heard of black holes, but few people outside of complex scientific fields understand their true nature and their implications for our universe. 

No movie, novel, or other fictional treatment of black holes matches Professor Filippenko’s absorbing presentation of the actual science behind these amazing objects. Black holes are at the heart of some of the most intriguing phenomena in the universe. Not only that, they are ideal gateways to fundamental and cutting-edge concepts in astronomy. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2009 The Great Courses (P)2009 The Teaching Company, LLC

What listeners say about Black Holes Explained

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    3 out of 5 stars

Based on material from 2009

Although this was released on audible on 03-11-19, it is based on material from 2009, and is thus out of date with regard to discovery of the Higgs boson and gravitational waves. Overall good, but I think these two discoveries are important to the overall topic of the lectures.

16 people found this helpful

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Good introduction, a bit dated

I was familiar with most of the material presented, but overall it's a good presentation of the topic, with many tidbits I wasn't familiar with. It was prepared before LIGO detected gravitational waves, so it lacks the rich insights provided by that team over the past few years. It also predates discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC, so that conversation is also dated. The other challenge with this presentation is that he is regularly describing visual aids that he is using in the class. Fortunately, his descriptions are detailed enough that he conveys the main points, but it is frustrating at times. There is a detailed .pdf available at audible, but it doesn't contain all of these visuals either. Still, this was an enjoyable presentation that I enjoyed and learned from.

6 people found this helpful

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publication date is misleading

LIGO has observed gravitational waves, the Higgs boson has been discovered, and Hawking has passed. The date on this lectured leads one to believe that it's published in 2019, which I guess it was, but it's clear from the lectures that it was recorded years prior. I guess I missed seeing the copyright date is 2009. Please be aware if you're looking for the latest knowledge on the physics of black holes.

3 people found this helpful

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Black Holes Explained

This book was not very good in my opinion. I was expecting more depth into what we know about Black Holes.

1 person found this helpful

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Referring to too many visualization which cannot be seen in Audiobook

Don’t understand why they made it an Audiobook The professor keeps referring to demonstrations, videos and animations which you cannot see! Disappointing

1 person found this helpful

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Good but a bit outdated

The material was recorded before some landmark discoveries including the detection of gravitational waves, the discovery of the higgs and the image of the black hole in the milky way.