Ripples on a Cosmic Sea: The Search for Gravitational Waves

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Basic Books, Apr 6, 1999 - Science - 184 pages
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Most people live and work entirely oblivious to the fact that a myriad of ghostly ripples are passing through them all the time. Generated in the depths of space by colliding stars and black holes, exploding supernovas and quasars, these so-called gravitational waves are literally ripples in the fabric of space itself. Sweeping across the cosmos at the speed of light, they encode vital clues about the exotic systems that produced them. Predicted by Einstein over eighty years ago, but never detected in the laboratory, gravitational waves have proven elusive to scientists. In the first book for a general reader on these amazing waves, Blair and McNamara weave a thrilling tale about the race to build the first gravitational wave antenna--a challenge that has prompted physicists and astronomers to devise some of the most breathtaking technology the world has ever seen. What these scientists find will allow us to listen to the explosion of stars, the creation of black holes, even the sound of the Big Bang itself, and will undoubtedly chart a new course for astronomy in the coming millennium.
 

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Ripples on a cosmic sea: the search for gravitational waves

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This wonderful book is the product of the collaborative efforts of Blair, a leading international authority on gravitational waves, and McNamara, a science journalist. Nearly one-third of the book ... Read full review

Contents

Space lies and geometry
1
Newtons space Einsteins universe
11
A theory of some gravity
23
The cosmic lookingglass
38
Making waves
55
Stars that go bang in the night
65
The coming of the pulsars
79
Pulsars prove gravitational waves
95
The searchers
116
Super detectors
130
Shedding light on gravitational waves
147
New developments future trends
163
The vision of gravitational wave astronomy
174
A gift of wonder
177
Index
181
Copyright

Black holes and the beginning of time
104

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About the author (1999)

David Blair is associate professor of physics at the University of Western Australia and one of the leading international authorities on gravitational waves. Geoff McNamara is a science journalist. David Blair is associate professor of physics at the University of Western Australia and one of the leading international authorities on gravitational waves. Geoff McNamara is a science journalist.

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