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  • Published: 31 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448167241
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 224

Prisons of Light

Black Holes



What is a black hole? Could we survive a visit to one? Perhaps even venture inside? What would we find? Have we yet discovered any real black holes?

And what do black holes teach us about what physicist John Archibald Wheeler called “the deep, happy, mysteries of the universe”?

These are just a few of the tantalizing questions examined in this jargon-free review of one of the most fascinating topics in modern science. In search of the answers, we trace a star from its birth to its death throes, take a fabulous hypothetical journey to the border of a black hole and beyond, spend time with some of the world’s leading theoretical physicists and observational astronomers scanning the cosmos for evidence of real black holes, and take a whimsical look at some of the wild ideas black holes have inspired.

  • Published: 31 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448167241
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 224

About the author

Kitty Ferguson

Kitty Ferguson was born in San Antonio, Texas. She studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and was for many years a successful professional musician, conducting and performing oratorio, early music and chamber music. In 1986 she moved to England where her husband was a Visiting Fellow and later Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. During this and many subsequent periods of residence at Cambridge, Kitty Ferguson audited graduated lectures and seminars in the Department of Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics and got to know some of the legendary figures in those fields, including Stephen Hawking. In 1987 she retired from music to devote herself full time to writing about science.

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Praise for Prisons of Light

Ferguson succeeds in explaining black holes at a level that will be inviting to those with little or no prior knowledge. Her writing is lucid, her analogies good. Just when you thought it was all over, black holes are back.

John Barrow, New Scientist

An astute blend of entertainment and enlightenment, the sort of book that might have come from George Gamow as part of his series Mr Tompkins in Wonderland. Ferguson’s grip on her material is firm, her style crisp, lucid and lively.

Werner Israel, Physics World

Kitty Ferguson marshals her argument well, taking a bite at a time and giving the reader the opportunity to digest before cramming in the next. Her text is carefully thought out, vivid and accurate. I’m glad I read it.

Roger O-Brien, Journal of the British Astronomical Society

The reader will be amply rewarded not only with knowledge, but also with the humor, fantasy, poetry and awe Ferguson brings to the subject.

Publishers Weekly

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