This updated edition of the New York Times Notable Book recounts the long hunt for Einstein’s predicted gravitational waves—and celebrates their discovery.
In February 2016, astronomers announced that they had verified the last remaining prediction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity—vibrations in space-time, called gravitational waves. Humanity can now tune in to a cosmic orchestra. We have heard the chirp of two black holes dancing toward a violent union. We will hear the cymbal crashes from exploding stars, the periodic drumbeats from swiftly rotating pulsars, and maybe even the echoes from the Big Bang itself.
More than a decade earlier, Marcia Bartusiak chronicled the gamble taken by astronomers who were determined to prove Einstein right. In their quest to detect gravitational waves, they built the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, the most accurate measuring devices ever created. In this updated edition, Bartusiak brings the story to a thrilling close with the triumphant discovery of gravitational waves made with the LIGO.
"An important, multifaceted scientific story…part theoretical physics, part astronomy, part experimental physics, part engineering."—James Ryerson, New York Times Book Review