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Black Holes and the Universe Hardcover – 29 Jun 1990

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (29 Jun. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521366577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521366571
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,779,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

."..a guide to the most intriguing form of cosmic matter discovered by modern physics and should appeal to those who love profound scientific mysteries. Also, perhaps to further underscore the book's non-technical approach to the subject at hand, the text is peppered with attractive pen-and-ink cartoons." The Strolling Astronomer

Book Description

Black holes are formed by the force of gravity, warping space and time, crushing stars and perhaps galaxies until they fall in on themselves. Igor Novikov's fascinating account, illustrated with a series of inspired cartoon drawings, illuminates this most enigmatic feature of our Universe with exemplary clarity. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Format: Paperback
This book is much better written than Hawking's rather more successful effort, really drawing the reader in with Novikov's self-evident fascination with the topic. Anyone with even the remotest interest in black holes or the origins of the universe should seriously consider reading this enlightening text. Unlike Hawking's book, I'm sure if anyone bought this one then they would actually read it, as opposed to leaving it gathering dust on the coffee table. Stimulating and well explained, Hawking should take some cues from the man who developed theories of black holes before Hawking had even graduated from university!
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Format: Paperback
An excellent introduction to the physics of black holes this popular science book is much more qualitative than quantative. Suitable for undergraduate astronomy or physics students, or just those who like a really good pop. sci. book!

I got this book for an astronomy coursework project and it formed the outline for my paper. Informative but so easy to read.
It does help that the author was on the forefront of theoretical research predicting, along with Zel' dovich that a large star would orbit a black hole (as opposed to just 'falling in'). This later lead to a method for searching for black holes by searching for strong x-ray sources. The radiation is emitted due to friction as matter from the star is slowly sucked, spiralling like a massive plughole, into the black hole. (Cygnus X-1, the most likely candidate for a black hole, was discovered in this way.)

But back to the book.

It's very easy to read. You can sit and read it in one go or skip ahead and read about what it feels like to fall into a black hole or what it would look like to see someone fall in :)
Or even discover how we can use black holes as a power source.
The book also gives a bit of history of the theoretical ideas (and the people behind them!) that led to the ideas surrounding black holes.
There are even some very charming anecdotes from Novikov's days as a student which break up the more challenging concepts.

I think you do need a little background in science to really appreciate all the theory in the book but even without it's very well written (and suprisingly short!).

Excellent introduction to black holes
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