About this book
Einstein's Enigma or Black Holes in My Bubble Bath is a humourous and informal rendition of the story of gravitation theory from the early historic origins to the latest developments in astrophysics, focusing on Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity and black-hole physics. Through engaging conversations and napkin-scribbled diagrams come tumbling the rudiments of relativity, spacetime and much of modern physics, narrated with high didactic and literary talent, and each embedded in casual lessons given by a worldly astrophysicist to his friend. Join the intellectual fun and exalt in the frothy ideas while vicariously taking relaxing baths in this magical bathtub. Prof. C.V. Vishveshwara is a renowned theoretical physicist, who participated in the golden age of black-hole physics, making pioneering contributions. Also an enthusiastic teacher and planetarium director, he has written several popular-level articles, scripts for planetarium shows and produced documentary movies on science.
Chapter 1. The Bathtub.- Chapter 2. The Stellar BED.- Chapter 3. The Casanova Connection.- Chapter 4. Footprints of the Giants.- Chapter 5. Cosmic Framework.- Chapter 6. Moving Experience.- Chapter 7. Fabric of Spacetime.- Chapter 8. Grappling with Gravity.- Chapter 9. Beetles on a Branch.- Chapter 10. Tub Talk.- Chapter 11. The First Solution and the Last Statement.- Chapter 12. Sphere of Darkness.- Chapter 13. The Voracious Whirlpool.- Chapter 14. Dynamics of the Unique.- Chapter 15. A Date with Dante.- Chapter 16. The Imprints of the Invisible.- Chapter 17. The Celestial Swan Song.- Chapter 18. Cibo per la mente.- Chapter 19. Curtain Call.- Chapter 20. Foundations of Fact and Fantasy.
Specializing in Einstein's general theory of relativity, Vishveshwara has worked extensively on the theory of black holes, making major contributions to this exciting field of research since its very beginning. For instance, he was one of the first ones to analyse the structure of black holes employing spacetime symmetries thereby demonstrating the existence of the ergosphere. He proved the stability of the non-rotating Schwarzschild black hole, a crucial factor that ensures its continued existence after formation. Further, he discovered the quasinormal modes of black holes. These modes of black hole vibrations would be one of the main targets of observation when the gravitational wave detectors, being set up all over the world, become functional. In recent years, he has been investigating black holes in cosmological backgrounds, an important aspect of black hole physics that has hardly been explored. Vishveshwara has also made significant contributions to other areas of general relativity such as the exact solutions of Einstein's field equations, gravitational collapse, compact stellar objects, inertial forces, and spacetime perturbations. Vishveshwara received his AM degree from Columbia University and PhD from the University of Maryland, and subsequently served on the faculties of New York University, Boston University, and University of Pittsburgh. After his return to his hometown of Bangalore, India, he has been a senior professor at the Raman research Institute and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. Vishveshwara has also held the position of Visiting Professor at several universities including University of Pennsylvania, University of Maryland, Boston University, University of London, and Universidad del Pais Vasco. In addition to authoring a number of technical papers, Vishveshwara has co-edited ten volumes on relativity, astrophysics and cosmology that have been brought out by leading publishers such as Cambridge University Press and Kluwer Academic Publishers. He has contributed articles to these volumes and illustrated two of the volumes with his cartoons, which have been highly appreciated. Further, he has written a number of popular articles on various topics in science. As founder-director of the Planetarium in Bangalore, he has written the scripts of several planetarium programmes and directed them. These have proved to be exceedingly popular because of the simple and attractive manner in which difficult concepts have been presented. Vishveshwara has also produced two short science films. For a more detailed profile of Vishveshwara and further account of his contributions, see Black Holes, Gravitational Radiation and the Universe: Essays in Honour of C.V.Vishveshwara, Bala R. Iyer and Biplab Bhawal eds, Kluwer Academic Publishers (1999). Popular Science Contributions: 1."Geometry and the Universe" in Cosmic Perspecives, eds. SK Biswas, DCV Mallik, and CV Vishveshwara, Cambridge University Press(1989). This volume contains articles by eminent people like Sir Joseph Needham, Hanbury-Brown, Brandon Carter, Fred Hoyle etc. It got excellent reviews including my article. 2."After the Fall: From Adam and Eve to Apples and Elevators", Gravitation and Relativity: At the Turn of the Millenium - Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation(1998). This is the expanded and illustrated version of the after dinner talk I gave at the conference. Prof CJS Clarke of Southampton University wrote in his review of the volume that 'Vishveshwara's article alone makes the book worth buying.' 3."Leaves from an Unwritten Diary. Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar - Reminiscences and Reflections" It was published by Current Science, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, India, which has circulation in both UK and USA. It is on their website which can be found throgh Google. Again, the article was highly acclaimed. 4."New Cosmos" and "Cosmic Perspectives". Two articles commissioned by Gran Enciclopedia del Mundo, Spain. Translated into Spanish from original English text. 5.Articles under the heading 'Out of Focus' - light-hearted short essays on different subjects. The author contributes a poem on relativity for the Einstein Experiment pursued by Lettre International of Berlin.