book cover of Black Hole Blues

Black Hole Blues

(2016)
And Other Songs from Outer Space
A non fiction book by

 
 
The authoritative story of the headline-making discovery of gravitational waves - by an eminent theoretical astrophysicist and award-winning writer.

From the author of How the Universe Got Its Spots and A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, the epic story of the scientific campaign to record the soundtrack of our universe.

Black holes are dark. That is their essence. When black holes collide, they will do so unilluminated. Yet the black hole collision is an event more powerful than any since the origin of the universe. The profusion of energy will emanate as waves in the shape of spacetime: gravitational waves. No telescope will ever record the event; instead, the only evidence would be the sound of spacetime ringing. In 1916, Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves, his top priority after he proposed his theory of curved spacetime. One century later, we are recording the first sounds from space, the soundtrack to accompany astronomy's silent movie.

In Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space, Janna Levin recounts the fascinating story of the obsessions, the aspirations, and the trials of the scientists who embarked on an arduous, fifty-year endeavor to capture these elusive waves. An experimental ambition that began as an amusing thought experiment, a mad idea, became the object of fixation for the original architects - Rai Weiss, Kip Thorne, and Ron Drever. Striving to make the ambition a reality, the original three gradually accumulated an international team of hundreds. As this book was written, two massive instruments of remarkably delicate sensitivity were brought to advanced capability. As the book draws to a close, five decades after the experimental ambition began, the team races to intercept a wisp of a sound with two colossal machines, hoping to succeed in time for the centenary of Einstein's most radical idea. Janna Levin's absorbing account of the surprises, disappointments, achievements, and risks in this unfolding story offers a portrait of modern science that is unlike anything we've seen before.



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Used availability for Janna Levin's Black Hole Blues

Hardback Editions

March 2016 : UK Hardback
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Title: Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space
Author(s): Janna Levin
ISBN: 1-84792-196-5 / 978-1-84792-196-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bodley Head
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


March 2016 : USA Hardback
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Title: Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space
Author(s): Janna Levin
ISBN: 0-307-95819-1 / 978-0-307-95819-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

April 2017 : USA Paperback
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Title: Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space
Author(s): Janna Levin
ISBN: 0-307-94848-X / 978-0-307-94848-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Anchor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2017 : UK Paperback
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Title: Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space
Author(s): Janna Levin
ISBN: 0-09-956958-2 / 978-0-09-956958-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


March 2016 : UK Paperback
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Title: Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space
Author(s): Janna Levin
ISBN: 1-84792-419-0 / 978-1-84792-419-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bodley Head
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

March 2016 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space
Author(s): Janna Levin
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


March 2016 : UK Audio edition
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Title: Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space
Author(s): Janna Levin
Publisher: Random House Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

March 2016 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space: Black Holes and the Quest to Hear the Invisible
Author(s): Janna Levin
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


March 2016 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space
Author(s): Janna Levin
Publisher: Anchor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA