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Summary

Ripples in Spacetime is an engaging account of the international effort to complete Einstein's project, capture his elusive ripples, and launch an era of gravitational-wave astronomy that promises to explain, more vividly than ever before, our universe's structure and origin.

The quest for gravitational waves involved years of risky research and many personal and professional struggles that threatened to derail one of the world's largest scientific endeavors. Govert Schilling takes listeners to sites where these stories unfolded - including Japan's KAGRA detector, Chile's Atacama Cosmology Telescope, the South Pole's BICEP detectors, and the United States' LIGO labs. He explains the seeming impossibility of developing technologies sensitive enough to detect waves from two colliding black holes in the very distant universe, and describes the astounding precision of the LIGO detectors. Along the way, Schilling clarifies concepts such as general relativity, neutron stars, and the big bang using language that listeners with little scientific background can grasp.

©2017 Govert Schilling (P)2017 Tantor

Critic reviews

"An exciting history of the second great breakthrough of 21st-century physics." ( Kirkus, starred review)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • JTT
  • london, uk
  • 02-07-18

great book

exciting history and contemporary research of gravitational waves and the universe. highly recommended. told as a thriller

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding

Really enjoyed this book. Some amazing content. Pitched just right for a moderately knowledgeable amateur to be able to follow the main thrust of the arguments.

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    5 out of 5 stars

New information instead of another history lesson

Great stuff and learnt lots of new things instead of the usual history lessons that are regularly told in these kind of books.

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  • Quidne IT
  • 11-10-17

Absolutely Loved it.

Absolutely loved this book. Easy to follow, even if you are not an Astro Physicist. Finally got a good understanding of the expansion of spacetime, how to understand the Big Bang & Gravitational Waves.

Great details on the engineering of LIGO.
And off course the first detection of Gravitational Waves in late 2015.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kristen
  • 20-11-17

Enjoyable journey through space-time!

The author does an outstanding job of relating the history of the search for Einstein Waves in a way that the layman can easily follow.

The science is on point but necessarily devoid of complexity, making this a wonderful resource for non-physicists.

I enjoyed it from start to finish.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • William
  • 21-07-18

basic info repeated

I ended up liking this book but the best gravity wave book hasn't been written yet.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kristen Tahirak
  • 07-09-18

Not horrible

Some interesting nuggets of information if you’re willing to wade through the superfluous, repetitive and watered-down cosmology background, as well as the author’s perplexingly continual and somewhat maddening practice of asking himself a question and then answering it. Why does he repeatedly do this? I know not.

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  • Mina
  • 03-09-18

Outdated information.

The first chapter of the book talks about our ancestors as just merely existing on earth and not caring about the position of the moon and the sun. Has the author ever read history? Literally everything was connected to the moon and the sun. I kept listening in hopes that there would be better information but alas! MORE OUTDATED INFORMATION! About the other planets. After 2012 there has been major changes in all he other planets. Pluto is a beautiful bright planet now, there have been dust storms in Mars, where is the information about the geometric storm happening in Saturn? Information on this book needs to get revisited.

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  • John
  • 06-08-18

Good overview

Some historical science (something that is overplayed, less history more science please), overall good overview of the science of current and future gravitational wave detectors.

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  • Dinesh Kulkarni
  • 23-07-18

Truly enriching!!

One of the best books on the subject of cosmology!! its makes the concepts very simple for understanding. story telling makes it highly engaging.

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  • Visanu Euarchukiati
  • 25-02-18

Great overview, ear opener to gravitational wave

A metaphor given in the book is quite appropriate. A deaf jungle trekker suddenly hears--like our experience with gravitational wave. The story is well laid out, with background stretching back centuries. The LISA pathfinder section is a little confusing.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Freddy Bastiat
  • 23-02-18

Very interesting

Hard to follow at some points, but that is the nature of the topic. Will make you feel small, insignificant and unintelligent when it comes to the scope of the universe.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-12-17

Interesting, but a little technical for most.

I enjoyed it, but I think that it goes a little into the technical for a lot of people. Science buffs are the target audience. Overall, though, I recommend it for its historical scope and for highlighting the people behind the discoveries. This four stars is to give pause to those looking for a light read, not to discourage those already excited about the expansion of our ability to understand the universe.