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From the acclaimed author of Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space--an authoritative and accessible guide to the most alluring and challenging phenomena of contemporary science. Through her writing, astrophysicist Janna Levin has focused on making the science she studies not just comprehensible but also, and perhaps more important, intriguing to the nonscientist From the acclaimed author of Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space--an authoritative and accessible guide to the most alluring and challenging phenomena of contemporary science. Through her writing, astrophysicist Janna Levin has focused on making the science she studies not just comprehensible but also, and perhaps more important, intriguing to the nonscientist. In this book, she helps us to understand and find delight in the black hole--perhaps the most opaque theoretical construct ever imagined by physicists--illustrated with original artwork by American painter and photographer Lia Halloran. Levin takes us on an evocative exploration of black holes, provoking us to imagine the visceral experience of a black hole encounter. She reveals the influence of black holes as they populate the universe, sculpt galaxies, and even infuse the whole expanse of reality that we inhabit. Lively, engaging, and utterly unique, Black Hole Survival Guide is not just informative--it is, aswell, a wonderful read from first to last.


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From the acclaimed author of Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space--an authoritative and accessible guide to the most alluring and challenging phenomena of contemporary science. Through her writing, astrophysicist Janna Levin has focused on making the science she studies not just comprehensible but also, and perhaps more important, intriguing to the nonscientist From the acclaimed author of Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space--an authoritative and accessible guide to the most alluring and challenging phenomena of contemporary science. Through her writing, astrophysicist Janna Levin has focused on making the science she studies not just comprehensible but also, and perhaps more important, intriguing to the nonscientist. In this book, she helps us to understand and find delight in the black hole--perhaps the most opaque theoretical construct ever imagined by physicists--illustrated with original artwork by American painter and photographer Lia Halloran. Levin takes us on an evocative exploration of black holes, provoking us to imagine the visceral experience of a black hole encounter. She reveals the influence of black holes as they populate the universe, sculpt galaxies, and even infuse the whole expanse of reality that we inhabit. Lively, engaging, and utterly unique, Black Hole Survival Guide is not just informative--it is, aswell, a wonderful read from first to last.

30 review for Black Hole Survival Guide

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hamid

    Mathematics alone cannot tell us what specifically is out there in our universe. The mathematics can speculate only about what is possible. And sometimes mathematics allows us to explore pure potential before any physical manifestations of that potential are discovered. Black holes were like that, a purely mathematical construct on the page, benign in virtual form, in typescript on paper, unverified for decades, unaccepted for decades, absurd, maligned and denied by some great geniuses of the twe Mathematics alone cannot tell us what specifically is out there in our universe. The mathematics can speculate only about what is possible. And sometimes mathematics allows us to explore pure potential before any physical manifestations of that potential are discovered. Black holes were like that, a purely mathematical construct on the page, benign in virtual form, in typescript on paper, unverified for decades, unaccepted for decades, absurd, maligned and denied by some great geniuses of the twentieth century, until physical evidence of real black holes in the galaxy was discovered. Black holes are a gift, both physically and theoretically. They are detectable on the farthest reaches of the observable universe. They anchor galaxies, providing a center for our own galactic pinwheel and possibly every other island of stars. And theoretically, they provide a laboratory for the exploration of the farthest reaches of the mind. Black holes are the ideal fantasy scape on which to play out thought experiments that target the core truths about the cosmos. “Black holes have no hair,” as John Wheeler quipped. If you could deduce any other features of the interior, any features other than mass, charge, and spin, it would be as though lines of information were emanating from the black hole, as though the black hole had hair. But the event horizon forbids the flow of information outward and therefore forbids the black hole from acquiring hair. “Black holes have no hair,” at least not for long. Any hair you try to give them will either fall in or be radiated away, restoring the hole to a pristine form. And so the black hole will remain featureless and without defect.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Wineberg

    Black holes are complicated, largely because what we think we know is mostly extremely long distance observation, mixed with debatable quantum mechanics and a lot of plain old conjecture. Janna Levin, professor of Physics at Columbia, manages to explain it rationally, clearly and even excitingly in her microbook The Black Hole Survival Guide. Spoiler alert: there is no surviving a black hole. Levin uses everyday objects to make understanding the process and the thing easy to follow. First of all, Black holes are complicated, largely because what we think we know is mostly extremely long distance observation, mixed with debatable quantum mechanics and a lot of plain old conjecture. Janna Levin, professor of Physics at Columbia, manages to explain it rationally, clearly and even excitingly in her microbook The Black Hole Survival Guide. Spoiler alert: there is no surviving a black hole. Levin uses everyday objects to make understanding the process and the thing easy to follow. First of all, black holes are actually nothing. It takes her some time to get readers to understand that, but black holes contain nothing and are nothing. Yet they are fearsomely massive and dense. The old cliché is that they’re so dense even light cannot escape from them. But just because we can’t see light beyond the event horizon doesn’t mean black holes are dark on the other side. All the thrashing and smashing and tearing apart could well mean it is extremely bright on the other side as energy is released. We just can’t see it from our side. Plus, the event horizon is a hologram, not a window, she says. It contains all the information from everything that passes through, while the interior holds nothing. This kind of explanation makes the book a real page turner for me, and for sci-fi and astrophysics fans in general I would imagine. First up for explanation is gravity. Gravitation is curved spacetime. The distortion of space means gravity fields around various bodies. Free-fall paths are curves in space, not straight lines. They trace an arc, much like throwing something across the room. Therefore the earth does not pull on the moon. Rather, it bends space and the moon falls freely along it, a very different concept. Levin says this was Einstein’s greatest finding. A black hole, as everybody knows, is massively dense. A black hole with the same mass as our sun would be just six kilometers wide, if that puts it in perspective. It consumes everything that ventures near, and destroys it, instantly shredding it to its subatomic components. It destroys the information, the history that it carried with it for eons. Destroyed matter can reappear as flares, fairly vomited from the black hole, bearing no relation whatsoever to what came in through the event horizon. A black hole warps time so much it basically stands still at the event horizon. Levin uses the example of two women in a mothership far from the black hole. If one leaves and ventures towards the black hole, her voyage would seem normal to her. But the woman in the mothership would die of old age watching her. The last moment, crossing the event horizon, would appear to take forever. From the event horizon looking out, the universe would advance billions of years in moments. Meanwhile, back at wrapping your brain around incredible concepts, the black hole singularity that we naively think of as the center of a sphere within the black hole is really at a future point in time and not a point in space at all. She says light can no more travel toward you from the singularity than light can travel into the past. This is a further good reason why a black hole seems dark and no light escapes. It’s all in the past from our side of the event horizon. There are contradictions to deal with as well. My favorite is that relativity’s prediction of the singularity means it cannot be. Levin also has the best explanations through analogy of quantum mechanics that I have seen. She says as with a musical chord vs a single note, a quantum particle cannot be in a precise place and simultaneously have a precise motion. If a particle is in a precise location, it is in a superposition of motions. If it is moving at a precise speed, it is in a superposition of locations. Position and velocity are complementary observables in physics talk. Saying particles have precise motion and location is as silly as saying a note is the same as a chord in Levin’s description. This comes closer to explaining it in plain English than anything I have yet reviewed, which is about ten other books on quantum mechanics now. Bottom line: keep away from black holes. No great worry there, as the nearest one would take numerous lifetimes to reach, even at the speed of light. It’s a voyage that would end badly, unlike this fun little book. David Wineberg

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessa Franco

    Weirdly good - I expected to snooze through this. Mostly because science was not my strongest subject in high school. The author does a fantastic job breaking it down simply, as is evident by my new fear of falling into a black hole 😂

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    A charming, highly readable book that manages to relate the confusing info about black holes in unique and understandable ways, and yet still capture the subtle humor of existential dread. :D

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mythreyi

    Phenomenal. A perfect book to transition into a new year. Reset the clock while we ponder the nature of reality, time and space through science. Janna Levin is a master communicator. She blends the science constructs together with the curiosity we all bear within us as we look up at the night sky and recognize it's ineffable nature. Much like black holes. Can't recommend this enough. Phenomenal. A perfect book to transition into a new year. Reset the clock while we ponder the nature of reality, time and space through science. Janna Levin is a master communicator. She blends the science constructs together with the curiosity we all bear within us as we look up at the night sky and recognize it's ineffable nature. Much like black holes. Can't recommend this enough.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Let's not kid ourselves. She's basically a black hole apologist. Her excuse is that you can get way closer to a black hole than a star like the sun before you perish*. The title is fake news. She obviously doesn't care about all the black hole victims (past and future). Like a shark conservationist. These people focus not on the danger, but what the danger source might know, what it might tell us about the world or ourselves. Danger sources always have information, you see! Or maybe not. We're no Let's not kid ourselves. She's basically a black hole apologist. Her excuse is that you can get way closer to a black hole than a star like the sun before you perish*. The title is fake news. She obviously doesn't care about all the black hole victims (past and future). Like a shark conservationist. These people focus not on the danger, but what the danger source might know, what it might tell us about the world or ourselves. Danger sources always have information, you see! Or maybe not. We're not sure. Not even Stephen Hawking knew. Read if you want to know what Hawking radiation is. That stuff will blow your socks off. What time is the event horizon? Read to find out. 4 stars because the first 3/4 of the book really set the bar high for clarity, and that level wasn't maintained in the last 1/4 (when it came to holograms and firewalls). A little more elaboration in the last couple of chapters would have been perfect. Black Hole sUN Black Hole sUN *if the black hole has the same mass as the sun

  7. 5 out of 5

    Susan Tunis

    It's short, but is it sweet? Can a book about one's inevitable death in the depths of a black hole ever be sweet? I don't know, but I loved the Black Hole Survival Guide! The book is precisely what the title suggests, offering advice such as: Go for the largest black hole possible for time in which to contemplate your looming death. Along the way, there are some lovely, accessible physics lessons. Dr. Levin also answers many lingering questions, such as: What was the deal with mini black holes an It's short, but is it sweet? Can a book about one's inevitable death in the depths of a black hole ever be sweet? I don't know, but I loved the Black Hole Survival Guide! The book is precisely what the title suggests, offering advice such as: Go for the largest black hole possible for time in which to contemplate your looming death. Along the way, there are some lovely, accessible physics lessons. Dr. Levin also answers many lingering questions, such as: What was the deal with mini black holes and the LHC? And she debunks black hole myths. (They're not as voracious as they're made out to be.) The icing on the proverbial cake is the author's enthusiasm for her subject matter. It's infectious! Janna Levin must be one hell of a professor, because rarely is learning so much fun.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Deepika

    Janna Levin’s ‘Black Hole Survival Guide’ was fun for the most parts. And then Levin started talking about some difficult things like ‘Evaporation’ and ‘Hologram’, which went way above my head, and I read those chapters twice, looked up more information online, and returned to the book with a sense of resignation. Maybe, that is just me. A person, who is more enthusiastic than me, about this dark subject, would find the book even more enjoyable. I loved the illustrations, and all the analogies. Janna Levin’s ‘Black Hole Survival Guide’ was fun for the most parts. And then Levin started talking about some difficult things like ‘Evaporation’ and ‘Hologram’, which went way above my head, and I read those chapters twice, looked up more information online, and returned to the book with a sense of resignation. Maybe, that is just me. A person, who is more enthusiastic than me, about this dark subject, would find the book even more enjoyable. I loved the illustrations, and all the analogies. The only complaint though is, Levin shouldn’t have thrown all those goats into the black holes for her experiments. Throwing mountains and stars are acceptable. 😋 The book ended on a sad note, and that affected me despite knowing that that’s how things would end. It was even more unnerving to complete reading the book on New Year’s Eve. But it was still a fun book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Winn Koster

    A haunting and beautiful read that introduces the key concepts of general relativity and provides the reader with a sense of simultaneous wonder, terror, and respect for the singularity. This book avoids getting bogged down in technical discussions of metrics and embeddings but also provides considerable detail beyond the simple "bedsheet" analogy that most introductory texts use, and goes on to discuss many of the unanswered questions in the field. The illustrations are beautiful and perfectly A haunting and beautiful read that introduces the key concepts of general relativity and provides the reader with a sense of simultaneous wonder, terror, and respect for the singularity. This book avoids getting bogged down in technical discussions of metrics and embeddings but also provides considerable detail beyond the simple "bedsheet" analogy that most introductory texts use, and goes on to discuss many of the unanswered questions in the field. The illustrations are beautiful and perfectly spaced to give the reader time to stop and grapple with the impossibilities of black holes. A great read for astronomers and poets alike.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Skott

    Janna Levin is awesome. I saw her on a couple of shows with Neil deGrasse Tyson and then got hooked on some YouTube videos explaining gravity (yes, there's a lot to know) and from that reading Black Hole Blues, which was a wild ride discussion about the ringing of space time. Loved this and that led me to Black Hole Survival Guide, which is a bit of a rebuild of her Nova Black Hole Apocalypse episode, which if you haven't watched and have read this book but want the full visual - go there next. Janna Levin is awesome. I saw her on a couple of shows with Neil deGrasse Tyson and then got hooked on some YouTube videos explaining gravity (yes, there's a lot to know) and from that reading Black Hole Blues, which was a wild ride discussion about the ringing of space time. Loved this and that led me to Black Hole Survival Guide, which is a bit of a rebuild of her Nova Black Hole Apocalypse episode, which if you haven't watched and have read this book but want the full visual - go there next. Great book for non-science readers to really take in the marvel of physics - both quantum and astro and to see them applied in real terms as you try to survive the black hole.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Colello

    Disappointing ending.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carlos

    Beautiful. The writing style feels off at times, but the subject and the explanations are presented clearly and with a touch of poetry. It has earned a quiet place in my heart.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Janna M

    I can picture Matthew McConaughey's character in Interstellar kicking back with this book, reading about black holes and quantum entanglement for fun. And it is a fun read (if you like epic prose and cold scientific facts interwoven with beautiful artwork and a sprinkling of existential dread)! I highlighted several passages for their turn of phrase alone. How often do you read a book that uses "denizens of the astronomical galactic nucleus" and "hot mess" in the same sentence? Author Janna Levi I can picture Matthew McConaughey's character in Interstellar kicking back with this book, reading about black holes and quantum entanglement for fun. And it is a fun read (if you like epic prose and cold scientific facts interwoven with beautiful artwork and a sprinkling of existential dread)! I highlighted several passages for their turn of phrase alone. How often do you read a book that uses "denizens of the astronomical galactic nucleus" and "hot mess" in the same sentence? Author Janna Levin is a master of phrase-turning, describing her own fascination with space in this gorgeous manner: "Frustrated by the fact of the heaviness of my feet on the Earth, striding at the base of sky, restless to be let in." Although I share her first name, I do not share the author's desire to escape the bonds of solid ground. I don't even like venturing out in deep lakes or oceans where I can't see the bottom. But I found myself floating with her imagined astronauts, hovering at the edge of event horizons, wondering what could possibly lay within. She perfectly captures the mystery of black holes, simultaneously lifting the veil to describe what we do know, what is currently hotly debated, and what is most likely to be discovered in the near future. She speaks with well-earned authority about which sides of the debates she falls on, but only time will tell if the current theories about the as-yet-unknowable center of a black hole are accurate. This "survival guide" should be handed out to high schools and colleges across the country to help spur inquiring young minds into studying the next great wave of exploration. It was as informational as a textbook, without being intimidating or cold. Lifelong learners of any age will surely find something new in this quick but deep read! Fans of Doctor Who, Stephen Hawking, Douglas Adams, and Ender Wiggins will all feel right at home in these pages.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joe Jones

    It is rare to find a scientist who can convey difficult ideas in a way that the rest of us can understand. Jenna Levin does an outstanding job of it here. Even if you think you do not care at all about black holes she will enlighten and entertain you and make you wish that the book did not end.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Srikar

    Listened to it over Audible narrated by Janna herself. I have been intrigued by the insights from Janna on star talk and i looked for more in this book. The book did provide fodder for thought. Janna’s prose is poetic at times , while also being eloquent and thoroughly engrossing. The subject gets more and more esoteric towards the end and one can perceive the increased labor in presenting accessible analogies. I must say, those analogies didn’t work for me. They are equally befuddling and may b Listened to it over Audible narrated by Janna herself. I have been intrigued by the insights from Janna on star talk and i looked for more in this book. The book did provide fodder for thought. Janna’s prose is poetic at times , while also being eloquent and thoroughly engrossing. The subject gets more and more esoteric towards the end and one can perceive the increased labor in presenting accessible analogies. I must say, those analogies didn’t work for me. They are equally befuddling and may be the description of physics would have sufficed. Overall, I am introduced to nuances that i did not come across astronomy textbook descriptions of black holes and that is ofcourse the primary goal of such books and in that, it was rewarding. To just introduce the topics. I am glad the book was kept short. May be there is a limit to how much one can dumb down the non intuitive comprehension of a difficult subject at hand to layperson. Impressed and not impressed both simultaneously. But I will surely keep this and listen to last few chapters again. The whole spacetime curvature explanations did not seem on spot. It was explained as if they are self explanatory. Granted, its hard to comprehend something that is non intuitive due to 4 dimensional nature of it, however, the trajectories appear as they do just because space time curves, sounds like force fitting a revelation to common day experience. It may be better to work on riemann geometry than simplifying it to meet everyday experience. There are other conceptual difficulties like black hole is not space, or just a point in time..or was it not both depending on your motion inside blackhole?.., holographic principle ...requires more work at math i guess. Having said that, the content is still accessible and fun.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Imagine that at the quantum level it is entirely natural and sustainable to be in a superposition of here and there, then and now, fast and slow. Imagine that a bare black hole is pure empty spacetime, that the black hole singularity that we naively think of as at the center of a sphere is really at a future point in time and not a point in space at all, that the event horizon is the extent of the black hole’s shadow and that anything that crosses the event horizon is forever lost to the outside Imagine that at the quantum level it is entirely natural and sustainable to be in a superposition of here and there, then and now, fast and slow. Imagine that a bare black hole is pure empty spacetime, that the black hole singularity that we naively think of as at the center of a sphere is really at a future point in time and not a point in space at all, that the event horizon is the extent of the black hole’s shadow and that anything that crosses the event horizon is forever lost to the outside... If your imagination is pushed to the limit just like mine was with this wonderful book, challenge yourself further and accept that "our familiar experience of a simple deterministic reality of unambiguous objects is the illusion, a deception made possible because of our poor perception, our blurry vision, our slow reflexes, our limited strength." Memorable quotes. "Only in the fight against gravity do you feel its pull, an inertia, a resistance, a heaviness. Give in to gravity, and the feeling of a force disappears." "Einstein’s unabashed devotion to simplicity shows in the childlike wondrousness of his unembellished, spare thought experiments." "Limits have incited revolutions. The limit of the speed of light hinted at relativity… The quantum revolution was incited in parallel by the limit imposed by Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, which asserts that particles as we thought we knew them do not exist"

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Being a layperson in the wonderful world of physics, I appreciate the work of folks like Janna Levin and giving the likes of me a chance at understanding something as fun as the idea of Black Holes which she hastens to add is nothing and yet behaves as though it is something. She goes on to articulate all kinds of paradoxes like being inside and outside the Event Horizon and marvels at the point of reference in time from the one inside versus the one outside the Horizon. I loved it all. And foll Being a layperson in the wonderful world of physics, I appreciate the work of folks like Janna Levin and giving the likes of me a chance at understanding something as fun as the idea of Black Holes which she hastens to add is nothing and yet behaves as though it is something. She goes on to articulate all kinds of paradoxes like being inside and outside the Event Horizon and marvels at the point of reference in time from the one inside versus the one outside the Horizon. I loved it all. And followed it most of the way until we got to the last few chapter where I started going a bit cross-eyed. I was pretty much with her all the way until we got to some of the business about Quantum Mechanics. Pretty impressive, I must say when the Theory of General Relativity is "easy" to understand. That being said, I was still with her most of the way and especially appreciated her lively prose and especially when it reached its lyrical zenith in the last Chapter "Exit". One minor point was where she "proved" God's non existence. She point blank arrived at the conclusion without so much as building an argument such as defining terms like "God". She satisfies herself that there can be no such thing as a "super-observer" or no "omniscient being". Nor does she give God a chance to be at the level of human relationships which tends to be where I look for God; namely where love, reconciliation, forgiveness and evil and good exist. These things are quite real in a very different universe from which she gives us an amazing grand tour. This is not to take away from anything the author says. It is pure genius. It is merely to say we are in two quite different worlds and frames of reference when we speak of astrophysics and theology. Wouldn't it be wonderful to sit down and have a chat about all this stuff some day. Thank you Janna Levin. Not since reading "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking have I had this much fun!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    Her “Survival Guide,” illustrated by painter and photographer Lia Halloran, is an exuberant, flashcard-size book of 13 chapters with, naturally, a black cover that draws you in, as it depicts an astronaut similarly attracted toward a mirror-like sphere, perhaps exploring it. Levin takes us on a virtual adventure to black holes, a safe trip that we can actually survive as long as we stay far enough away. Her writing is clear and so colloquial that it sometimes seems as though she’s right there c Her “Survival Guide,” illustrated by painter and photographer Lia Halloran, is an exuberant, flashcard-size book of 13 chapters with, naturally, a black cover that draws you in, as it depicts an astronaut similarly attracted toward a mirror-like sphere, perhaps exploring it. Levin takes us on a virtual adventure to black holes, a safe trip that we can actually survive as long as we stay far enough away. Her writing is clear and so colloquial that it sometimes seems as though she’s right there chatting with you, telling a story in a conversation so compelling that you hardly notice the complexity of the actual physics. That’s her trick of talking about science to a lay audience. Levin writes, “I don’t know what it was like where you were…,” before telling the story of black holes as if you were pursuing one in its own territory like you’re the astronaut — you in your space suit on the book’s cover. You can read my review of Janna Levin's Black Hole Survival Guide in The Boston Globe by clicking below. https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/12/0...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    The Black Hole Survival Guide is a quick read. It reviews the nuts and bolts of black holes and then gets into the abstruse parts. Levin gives advice to an intrepid astronaut entering a black hole. This is an effective way to convey notions like the differences at the event horizon between a big and small black hole. The art by Lia Halloran is fun and supports this. The book also discusses the prevalence of black holes and where and how they may be formed. Levin then gets into the weeds: black h The Black Hole Survival Guide is a quick read. It reviews the nuts and bolts of black holes and then gets into the abstruse parts. Levin gives advice to an intrepid astronaut entering a black hole. This is an effective way to convey notions like the differences at the event horizon between a big and small black hole. The art by Lia Halloran is fun and supports this. The book also discusses the prevalence of black holes and where and how they may be formed. Levin then gets into the weeds: black holes are nothing, the conflict between relativity and quantum mechanics, and black holes may be holographs. These parts were perplexing. She describes a black hole forming out of a star's collapse. "Now the star continues to collapse, marking the event horizon indelibly on the shape of space-time. The star continues to fall, the implosion unstoppable. The material that formed the event horizon is gone, leaving empty space-and an event horizon-in its wake." If "the material that formed the event horizon is gone" what gives the black hole its mass and bends space-time? Energy? Is energy nothing? An interesting read that raised many more questions than it answered.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    Mathematics can speculate about what is possible in the universe. Black holes are nothing. Black holes provide a laboratory for the exploration of the farthest reaches of the mind. A black hole is a spacetime. Falling is the purest uninterrupted experience of gravity. The happiest thought of Einstiens life was that we experience weightlessness when we fall. Space is curved by the prexence of matter and energy. Curved line is the shortest path. Gravitation is curved spacetime. The Earth bends space and th Mathematics can speculate about what is possible in the universe. Black holes are nothing. Black holes provide a laboratory for the exploration of the farthest reaches of the mind. A black hole is a spacetime. Falling is the purest uninterrupted experience of gravity. The happiest thought of Einstiens life was that we experience weightlessness when we fall. Space is curved by the prexence of matter and energy. Curved line is the shortest path. Gravitation is curved spacetime. The Earth bends space and the moon tumbles freely. Black holes are a place that can also behave like an object. they are empty but have mass. Whos' left? Who's time? Time flows past you and you flow through time. Time runs slopwer in space until you reach the event horizon when your clocks appear to stop, your passage of time inert. Time is now space and space is now time. Sngularity is an end to space and time, an end to existence. Fundamental inability to reconstruct the past from the future is as bad as a fundamental inability to predict the future form the past. Are we just holograms? Quantum entanglement is a pair or group that cannot be described independently of the other.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Keim

    I don't even know where to start with this review. This book was everything I could have asked for, and more, based on the title. As someone who loves quantum mechanics and black holes, this book immediately piqued my interest when I saw it on the shelf. The level of discussion in the book really makes it one to read, read again, and maybe give to someone else. There are so many great quotes it is hard to even try and capture my favorite one, but, if I had to, it would be, "(blackholes)let us kn I don't even know where to start with this review. This book was everything I could have asked for, and more, based on the title. As someone who loves quantum mechanics and black holes, this book immediately piqued my interest when I saw it on the shelf. The level of discussion in the book really makes it one to read, read again, and maybe give to someone else. There are so many great quotes it is hard to even try and capture my favorite one, but, if I had to, it would be, "(blackholes)let us know they're there, like an invisible man playing in the snow." This book goes perfectly with a book I read last year, "The Order of Time," and this will be a main stay for me to recommend to others. Aside from all of this, the design and illustration of the book are wonderful. I loved it all, every bit.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mr. P

    What a lovely down to earth introduction to black holes and other astronomical phenomenons. Janna writes in a candid, entertaining style about the conundrums and paradoxons that kept physicists and scientists excited over the last hundred years or so; about the battle between relativists and quantum theorists. Honestly, I thought I'd be quick through this rather compact and well written book. Yet, the material and thoughts presented are nonetheless challenging and require your full attention and a What a lovely down to earth introduction to black holes and other astronomical phenomenons. Janna writes in a candid, entertaining style about the conundrums and paradoxons that kept physicists and scientists excited over the last hundred years or so; about the battle between relativists and quantum theorists. Honestly, I thought I'd be quick through this rather compact and well written book. Yet, the material and thoughts presented are nonetheless challenging and require your full attention and awareness. Not much progress to be made after exhausting days when enjoying this book as night time read. Overall, highly recommended for those with a taste for scientific topics, facts, figures, and wild theories!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    So it turns out that when you scream into the void nothing listens but if you were to step into it that's where things get interesting. People have been curious about black holes for forever and the world recently saw its curiosity reawakened a few years ago with the first picture of a black hole. Told in a way that makes you feel that you are floating (falling?) through the void of nothingness this is such an informative and calming read. So boldly go and allons-y! Thank you to NetGalley and Kno So it turns out that when you scream into the void nothing listens but if you were to step into it that's where things get interesting. People have been curious about black holes for forever and the world recently saw its curiosity reawakened a few years ago with the first picture of a black hole. Told in a way that makes you feel that you are floating (falling?) through the void of nothingness this is such an informative and calming read. So boldly go and allons-y! Thank you to NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group for this advanced copy which I received in return for an honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Brilliant! And very enjoyable. I listened to it, read by the author, (borrowed from library) and loved hearing her passion and curiosity. I heard her interviewed on Quirks and Quarks, https://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/dec-1... and that sparked my interest. The only down side to the audiobook is you miss the amazing paintings. So much to think about when you let your imagination roam free. Brilliant! And very enjoyable. I listened to it, read by the author, (borrowed from library) and loved hearing her passion and curiosity. I heard her interviewed on Quirks and Quarks, https://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/dec-1... and that sparked my interest. The only down side to the audiobook is you miss the amazing paintings. So much to think about when you let your imagination roam free.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cole Nesselson

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. black holes is a point in time. Death in the singularity is the future. quasars are super massive blackholes with accretion disks. These disks have colliding material produce thousands times more energy than all the stars in the galaxy. quantum gravity holds the key to a united theory of everything. small black holes have more intense gravity and evaporate very quickly and release radiation. big black holes are less dense and so evaporate much more slowly, releasing less radiation, even smaller t black holes is a point in time. Death in the singularity is the future. quasars are super massive blackholes with accretion disks. These disks have colliding material produce thousands times more energy than all the stars in the galaxy. quantum gravity holds the key to a united theory of everything. small black holes have more intense gravity and evaporate very quickly and release radiation. big black holes are less dense and so evaporate much more slowly, releasing less radiation, even smaller than CMB.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Roo Phillips

    This book is written for the masses. If you are curious about what black holes are, but don't want to get into math and physics, then this is the book to read. Very accessible, short, and sweet. Black holes are so fascinating. The universe can be so bizarre, so nonintuitive, and reading about black holes will help anyone appreciate that fact. This book is written for the masses. If you are curious about what black holes are, but don't want to get into math and physics, then this is the book to read. Very accessible, short, and sweet. Black holes are so fascinating. The universe can be so bizarre, so nonintuitive, and reading about black holes will help anyone appreciate that fact.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul Andrews

    I will written small book that walks through the authors current thinking on the enigma of Black Holes. Although the last few chapters require some careful reading and cover cutting edge areas such as Hawking radiation, most of the book can be read by individual without much of a scientific background.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Zeina

    Beware, This book is likely to give you superpowers. Indeed how to survive a black hole ? The secret is in the black box ? Or deep into quantum physics ? This book is a challenge to both reason and faith and it is a fascinating trip into consciousness as it helps us redefine our position in the universe.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    I enjoyed Black Hole Blues and had to give this a try. Janna's writing the for the layperson is perfect for those of us interested in cosmology but breakout in a rash when it comes to the math. It is fascinating that a book can be written about nothing, just a hole in spacetime and keep one engrossed. I enjoyed Black Hole Blues and had to give this a try. Janna's writing the for the layperson is perfect for those of us interested in cosmology but breakout in a rash when it comes to the math. It is fascinating that a book can be written about nothing, just a hole in spacetime and keep one engrossed.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This was both a challenging and pleasant read. A lot to wrap the head around, and I had to stop every now and then to reread and ponder what was being said. It's an excellent way to share some pretty complicated astrophysics with more easily accessible analogies. This was both a challenging and pleasant read. A lot to wrap the head around, and I had to stop every now and then to reread and ponder what was being said. It's an excellent way to share some pretty complicated astrophysics with more easily accessible analogies.

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