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Gravity's Fatal Attraction: Black Holes in the Universe

By: Mitchell Begelman and Martin Rees

264 pages, photos, illus

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Apr 2010 | Edition: 2 | #182245 | ISBN-13: 9780521717939
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £43.99 $58/€50 approx
Hardback | Apr 2010 | Edition: 2 | #182244 | ISBN-13: 9780521889445
Out of Print Details

About this book

Richly illustrated with the images from observatories on the ground and in space, as well as computer simulations, this book shows how black holes were discovered, and discusses our current understanding of their role in cosmic evolution.

This second edition covers new discoveries made in the past decade, including definitive proof of a black hole at the center of the Milky Way, evidence that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating, and the new appreciation of the connection between black holes and galaxy formation. There are entirely new chapters on gamma-ray bursts and cosmic feedback. The authors blend theoretical arguments with observational results to demonstrate how both approaches contributed to this subject.

Reviews from the 1st edition 'Martin Rees and Mitchell Begelman are probably the world's leading authorities in the astrophysics of black holes.' Stephen W. Hawking 'Martin Rees is one of the great astronomers of our generation, and this felicitous collaboration with Mitchell Begelman brings alive a subject replete with wonder and mystery - without losing the hard edge of scientific rigour. An exhilarating read!' Paul Davies, author of The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World 'Martin Rees and Mitchell Begelman have provided us with a dramatic, elegant, and fully authoritative account of [black holes], and how they fit into our modern picture of the Universe.' Roger Penrose, author of The Emperor's New Mind 'A terrific book, I doubt that you could find a more comprehensive and authoritative popular account of this spectacular subject.' Marcus Chown, New Scientist 'An excellent beginner's account of the discovery of black holes and their importance in astrophysics today.' Frank E. Reed, Sky and Telescope


1. Gravity triumphant; 2. Stars and their fates; 3. Black holes in our backyard; 4. Galaxies and their nuclei; 5. Quasars and kin; 6. Jets; 7. Blasts from the past; 8. Black holes in hibernation; 9. Cosmic feedback; 10. Checking up on Einstein; 11. Through the horizon; Appendix: Gravity and cosmic dimensions; Index.

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Mitchell Begelman is Chairman of the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences and Fellow of JILA, at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has won several awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, Sloan Research Fellowship, and the American Astronomical Society Warner Prize. Martin Rees is President of the Royal Society, Astronomer Royal and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He is the foremost astronomer in the UK, a winner of the Gold Medal of the Royal Society, and has written several books on physics for a general audience.

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