Title Einstein’s Monsters
Subtitle The Life and Times of Black Holes
Author Chris Impey
ISBN 9781324000938
List price USD 26.95
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Hardbound
No of pages 304
Book size 165 x 241 mm
Publishing year 2018
Original publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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“Black holes were originally flights of theoretical fancy, difficult for even professional physicists to wrap their brains around. In Einstein’s Monsters, Chris Impey shows how modern astronomy has brought them into vivid focus, and conveys how much more we’re learning about these extreme beasts with every passing year.”

— Sean Carroll, author of The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself


“[Einstein’s Monsters] will wow the general-interest science audience.”

— Booklist (starred review)


“An absorbing and lay-reader-friendly look at the intriguing dead stars called black holes.”

Publishers Weekly


“Fans of popular science authors such as Neil deGrasse Tyson, Lisa Randall, and Mike Brown will enjoy this wonderful, accessible introduction to black holes.”

Jason Steagall, Library Journal (starred review)


The astonishing science of black holes and their role in understanding the history and future of our universe.

Black holes are the most extreme objects in the universe, and yet they are ubiquitous. Every massive star leaves behind a black hole when it dies, and every galaxy harbors a supermassive black hole at its center. Frighteningly enigmatic, these dark giants continue to astound even the scientists who spend their careers studying them. Which came first, the galaxy or its central black hole? What happens if you travel into one—instant death or something weirder? And, perhaps most important, how can we ever know anything for sure about black holes when they destroy information by their very nature?

In Einstein’s Monsters, distinguished astronomer Chris Impey takes readers on an exploration of these and other questions at the cutting edge of astrophysics, as well as the history of black holes’ role in theoretical physics—from confirming Einstein’s equations for general relativity to testing string theory. He blends this history with a poignant account of the phenomena scientists have witnessed while observing black holes: stars swarming like bees around the center of our galaxy; black holes performing gravitational waltzes with visible stars; the cymbal clash of two black holes colliding, releasing ripples in space-time.

Clear, compelling, and profound, Einstein’s Monsters reveals how our comprehension of black holes is intrinsically linked to how we make sense of the universe and our place within it. From the small questions to the big ones—from the tiniest particles to the nature of space-time itself—black holes might be the key to a deeper understanding of the cosmos.






Chapter 1. The Heart of Darkness  • An English Clergyman Imagines Dark Stars  • A Great French Mathematician Weighs In  • Understanding the Fabric of Space-Time  • A Singularity and a Life Cut Short  • The Master of Implosions and Explosions  • Coining the Perfect Term for the Inscrutable • A Genius Struggles with Gravity and Disease • Betting on Black Holes • The Golden Age of Black Hole Theory

Chapter 2. Black Holes from Star Death • The Forces of Light and Darkness • Gravity and Darkness Are the Final Victors • Finding the First Black Swan • Weighing the Invisible Dance Partner • Black Holes with Gold-Plated Credentials • Using Gravitational Optics • Physics at the Edge of the Maelstrom • A Tour of the Binary Star Bestiary

Chapter 3. Supermassive Black Holes • The Only Radio Astronomer in the World • Galaxies with Bright Nuclei • Radio Astronomy Comes of Age • A Dutch Astronomer Discovers Quasars • Astronomers Harvest Distant Points of Light • Hypothesizing Massive Black Holes • Mapping Radio Jets and Lobes • The Zoo of Active Galaxies • A Matter of Perspective

Chapter 4. Gravitational Engines • The Big Black Hole Next Door • Stars at the Edge of the Abyss • The Dark Core in Every Galaxy • Baron Rees of Ludlow Tames the Beast • Using Quasars to Probe the Universe • Weighing Black Holes by the Thousand • Accretion Power in the Cosmos • Massive Black Holes Are Not Scary



Chapter 5. The Lives of Black Holes • Seeds of the Universe • First Light and First Darkness • Black Hole Birth by Stellar Cataclysm • Finding the Missing Links • Simulating Extreme Gravity in a Computer • How Black Holes and Galaxies Grow • The Universe as a Black Hole • Making Black Holes in the Lab

Chapter 6. Black Holes as Tests of Gravity • Gravity from Newton to Einstein and Beyond • What Black Holes Do to Space-Time • How Black Holes Affect Radiation • Inside the Iron Curtain • X-Rays Flickering Near the Abyss • When a Black Hole Eats a Star • Taking a Black Hole for a Spin • The Event Horizon Telescope

Chapter 7. Seeing with Gravity Eyes • A New Way of Seeing the Universe • Ripples in Space-Time • An Eccentric Millionaire and a Solitary Engineer • When Black Holes Collide • The Most Precise Machine Ever Built • Meet the Maestro of Gravity • Viewing the Universe with Gravity Eyes • Collisions and Mergers of Massive Black Holes • Gravity and the Big Bang

Chapter 8. The Fate of Black Holes • The New Age of Gravity • Quasar on Our Doorstep • Merging with Andromeda • The Biggest Black Holes in the Universe • The Era of Stellar Corpses • A Future of Evaporation and Decay • Living with Black Holes




About the Author:

Chris Impey is a distinguished professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona and the critically-acclaimed author of Beyond, How It Began, and How It Ends, and four other books, as well as two astronomy textbooks. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Target Audience:

Students and academicians of Astronomy and Physics.


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