by September on Feb 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm
On January 31st we published 3 digital titles by Stephen Hawking’s biographer, the lovely Kitty Ferguson. Kitty, who has devoted much of her life to writing about science examines a variety of scientific questions that are well worth visiting. Have a read through of our title information below regarding Kitty’s latest work and make sure to grab yourself an electronic copy.
Find Kitty on Twitter: @Kitty_Ferguson
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Prisons of Light: Black Holes by Kitty Ferguson
What is a black hole? Could we survive a visit to one? Perhaps even venture inside? What would we find? Have we yet discovered any real black holes?
And what do black holes teach us about what physicist John Archibald Wheeler called “the deep, happy, mysteries of the universe”?
These are just a few of the tantalizing questions examined in this jargon-free review of one of the most fascinating topics in modern science. In search of the answers, we trace a star from its birth to its death throes, take a fabulous hypothetical journey to the border of a black hole and beyond, spend time with some of the world’s leading theoretical physicists and observational astronomers scanning the cosmos for evidence of real black holes, and take a whimsical look at some of the wild ideas black holes have inspired.
Measuring the Universe: The Historical Quest to Quantify Space by Kitty Ferguson
Suppose you and I still wondered whether all of the pinpoints of light in the night sky are the same distance from us. Suppose none of our contemporaries could tell us whether the Sun orbits the Earth, or vice versa, or even how large the Earth is. Suppose no one had guessed there are mathematical laws underlying the motions of the heavens.
How would – how did – anyone begin to discover these numbers and these relationships without leaving the Earth? What made anyone even think it was possible to find out “how far,” without going there?
In Measuring the Universe we join our ancestors and contemporary scientists as they tease this information out of a sky full of stars. Some of the questions have turned out to be loaded, and a great deal besides mathematics and astronomy has gone into answering them. Politics, religion, philosophy and personal ambition: all have played roles in this drama.
There are poignant personal stories, of people like Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Herschel, and Hubble. Today scientists are attempting to determine the distance to objects near the borders of the observable universe, far beyond anything that can be seen with the naked eye in the night sky, and to measure time back to its origin. The numbers are too enormous to comprehend.
Nevertheless, generations of curious people have figured them out, one resourceful step at a time. Progress has owed as much to raw ingenuity as to technology, and frontier inventiveness is still not out of date.
The extraordinary, unlikely tale of Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler and their enormous contribution to astronomy and understanding of the cosmos is one of the strangest stories in the history of science.
Kepler was a poor, devoutly religious teacher with a genius for mathematics. Brahe was an arrogant, extravagant aristocrat who possessed the finest astronomical instruments and observations of the time, before the telescope. Both espoused theories that seem off-the-wall to modern minds, but their fateful meeting in Prague in 1600 was to change the future of science.
Set in one of the most turbulent and colourful eras in European history, when medieval was giving way to modern, Tycho and Kepler is a double biography of these two remarkable men.Post A Comment