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Einstein's Unfinished Symphony Listening to the Sounds of Space-Time cover
  • ISBN: 9780309069878
  • ISBN10: 0309069874

Einstein's Unfinished Symphony Listening to the Sounds of Space-Time

by Marcia Bartusiak

  • List Price: $24.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Natl Academy Pr
  • Publish date: 11/01/2000
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Description
Eighty five years ago, Albert Einstein unveiled the quintessence of mathematical beauty when he published his theory of general relativity. Part of this theory was the existence of gravity waves -- or vibrations in space-time. As we cross the threshold of the new millennium, we now seek to prove this last prediction of his general theory of relativity -- it is Einstein's unfinished symphony, waiting nearly a century to be heard.

When these gravity waves finally reveal themselves to astronomers, we will be able to glean new data about some of the most violent events in the universe. Using the metaphor of music, Bartusiak allows us to imagine the cymbal crashes from exploding stars, helps us tune in to the periodic drumbeats of swiftly rotating neutron stars, describes for us the extended chirps from the merger of two black holes, even lets us eavesdrop on the remnant echoes from the mighty jolt of the Big Bang itself.

As the LIGO gravity wave observatories in Washington State and Louisana prepare to go online, Bartusiak captures the excitement of scientific discovery. We share in the anticipation that the scientists are feeling as these novel instruments offer the ability to place our hands upon the fabric of space-time and connect with the very rhythms of the universe.

Beautifully written, engrossing and enlightening, Bartusiak wraps personal stories and science history around a complicated subject in a way that makes the topic accessible to all readers. We learn not only about the science, but about the scientists themselves who have risked their careers on the gamble that Einstein was right. The human drama involved in this quest is palpable -- success may translate into NobelPrizes, while failure could spell careers in ruin. At a time when readers are clearly hungry for science presented in entertaining and informative ways, Einstein's Unfinished Symphony succeeds on both counts.

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