'Includes exciting recent advances in studying gravity and its cosmic manifestations.' Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, former President of the Royal SocietyA fascinating historical account of how we have reached our current understanding of gravity. There have been sensational developments in gravitational physics in recent years. The detection of gravitational waves - ripples in the fabric of space - has opened a new window on the universe. These waves are produced by the most cataclysmic events in the universe - the collisions and mergers of black holes and neutron stars. There have also been great strides in our understanding of supermassive black holes. We now know that a black hole with a gargantuan mass lies at the heart of every galaxy, and we even have an image of one such beast. Gravity: From Falling Apples to Supermassive Black Holes provides an engaging and accessible account of how we have reached our current understanding of gravity and places these amazing discoveries in their true context. Gravity: From Falling Apples to Supermassive Black Holes is written in a captivating historical style with stories about the researchers of the past and present that illuminate many key ideas in astronomy and physics. The historical material leads from discussions of the early cosmologies to the great breakthroughs of Tycho and Kepler. We then consider Galileo's contributions to astronomy and mechanics, and the significance of Jeremiah Horrocks's ideas to the Newtonian revolution that would follow. Newton's theories brought about a new scientific age and his description of gravity was unrivalled for over two centuries until it was superseded by Einstein's description in terms of curved spacetime. The outlandish predictions of Einstein's theory have been confirmed again and again, including black holes and gravitational waves. Finally, we move on to more speculative ideas including Hawking radiation and primordial black holes and attempts to find a quantum theory of gravity.
About the Author
Nicholas Mee, Director, Virtual Image Publishing Ltd and Quantum Wave Publishing Ltd Nicholas Mee achieved a top distinction in Part III of the Mathematical Tripos of the University of Cambridge and gained his PhD there in theoretical particle physics, with the thesis Supersymmetric Quantum Mechanics and Geometry. He is Director of software company Virtual Image and author of over 50 multimedia titles. He has played key roles in numerous science and art projects including the Symbolic Sculpture project with John Robinson, the European SCIENAR project, and the 2012 Henry Moore and Stringed Surfaces exhibition at the Royal Society. He is the award-winning author of several popular science books, including Higgs Force: Cosmic Symmetry Shattered (Quantum Wave Publishing Limited 2012), The Physical World: An Inspirational Tour of Fundamental Physics (OUP 2017), The Cosmic Mystery Tour (OUP 2019), and Celestial Tapestry (OUP 2020).