A Brief History of Black Holes: And why nearly everything you know about them is wrong
Black Holes are the universe’s strangest and most fascinating objects—Dr. Becky explains all, and why nearly everything you know about them is wrong.
Right now, you are orbiting a black hole. The Earth goes around the Sun, and the Sun goes around the centre of the Milky Way: a supermassive black hole—the strangest and most misunderstood phenomenon in the galaxy.
In A Brief History of Black Holes University of Oxford astrophysicist Dr. Becky Smethurst charts the scientific breakthroughs that have uncovered the weird and wonderful world of black holes, from the collapse of massive stars to the iconic first photographs of a black hole in 2019. A cosmic tale of discovery, you’ll learn: why black holes aren’t really ‘black,’ that you never ever want to be ‘spaghettified,’ how black holes are more like sofa cushions than hoovers, and why beyond the event horizon, the future is a direction in space rather than in time. Full of wit and learning, this captivating book explains why black holes contain the secrets to the most profound questions about our universe.
Prologue: Standing on the shoulders of giants
Chapter 1. Why the stars shine
Chapter 2. Live fast, die young
Chapter 3. Mountains high enough to keep me from getting to you
Chapter 4. Why black holes are ‘black’
Chapter 5. A teaspoon of neutrons helps the star collapse down!
Chapter 6. Funny, it’s spelled just like ‘escape’
Chapter 7. Why black holes are not ‘black’
Chapter 8. When 2 become 1
Chapter 9. Your friendly neighbourhood black hole
Chapter 10. Supermassive-size Me
Chapter 11. Black holes don’t suck
Chapter 12. The old galaxy can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Because she’s dead
Chapter 13. You can’t stop tomorrow coming
Chapter 14. Well, Judy, you did it. She’s finally full
Chapter 15. Everything that dies, someday comes back
Epilogue: Here at the end of all things
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