Gravity: How the Weakest Force in the Universe Shaped Our Lives

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Macmillan, May 22, 2012 - Science - 322 pages
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A history of gravity, and a study of its importance and relevance to our lives, as well as its influence on other areas of science.

Physicists will tell you that four forces control the universe. Of these, gravity may the most obvious, but it is also the most mysterious. Newton managed to predict the force of gravity but couldn't explain how it worked at a distance. Einstein picked up on the simple premise that gravity and acceleration are interchangeable to devise his mind-bending general relativity, showing how matter warps space and time. Not only did this explain how gravity worked – and how apparently simple gravitation has four separate components – but it predicted everything from black holes to gravity's effect on time. Whether it's the reality of anti-gravity or the unexpected discovery that a ball and a laser beam drop at the same rate, gravity is the force that fascinates.

 

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Contents

AC KNOW LEDG MENTS
1
CHAPTER TWO CHAPTER THREE CHAPTER FOUR
10
and yet it moves
28
CHAPTER FIVE action at a distance and other
70
CHAPTER SIX warping the universe
99
CHAPTER SEVEN
132
CHAPTER EIGHT one of four
161
CHAPTER NINE enter the quantum
183
CHAPTER TEN particles and waves
223
CHAPTER ELEVEN cavorite returns
250
CHAPTER TWELVE center of attraction
281
NOTES
287
INDEX
307
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About the author (2012)

BRIAN CLEGG is most recently the author of How to Build a Time Machine. He holds a physics degree from Cambridge and has written regular columns, features, and reviews for numerous magazines. He lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and two children.

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