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Gravity's Engines: The Other Side of Black Holes Hardcover – 1 Nov 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; 1st ed edition (1 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846145333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846145339
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.7 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 739,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


A virtuosic history of the universe... [Scharf] serves as an appealing tour guide to the eerie, infinite corridors of the cosmos in which we reside (Prospect)

In Gravity's Engines, Caleb Scharf tells the mind-blowing story of 'supermassive' black holes, the true masters of the Universe. Black holes are smaller than the Solar System yet project their power across the cosmos, sculpting entire galaxies of stars. They might appear esoteric and remote, but as Scharf explains, life on Earth may have been utterly impossible without them (Marcus Chown, author of Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You)

Caleb Scharf is a lively and eloquent writer as well as a fine scientist. Gravity's Engines is particularly welcome because it presents topics at the frontiers of our understanding which have not hitherto been presented so clearly to a general readership (Sir Martin Rees)

Mr. Scharf makes vivid the mind-boggling nature of the universe . . . [there are] bright beams of knowledge coming from this excellent book (Wall Street Journal)

Using rich language and a brilliant command of metaphor, [Scharf] takes on some of the most intricate topics in theoretical and observational astronomical research. He weaves a wonderfully detailed tapestry of what modern astronomy is all about, from the complexities of cosmic microwave background studies to the X-ray mapping of galaxy clusters (Nature)

Caleb Scharf's fun book takes you behind the scenes of the universe itself to see how the celestial heavyweights we call black holes help shape the cosmos (Sean Carroll, author of From Eternity to Here)

About the Author

Caleb Scharf is the director of Columbia University's Astrobiology Center. He has written for New Scientist, Science, Nature, and more. He was born in England, and now lives in New York City.

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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 26 February 2013
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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 7 December 2012
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