Book Club: Black Holes and Other Songs from Outer Space

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Book Club: Black Holes and Other Songs from Outer Space
June 18, 2017 3:00 PM
June 18, 2017 4:00 PM
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Tania Hajjar
970-249-9656 (ext. 3)
September 9, 2016
Montrose Regional Library Meeting Room
320 S. 2nd St. , Montrose, CO, 81401, United States

Join us!  The Book Club meets on the third Sunday of the month, from 3 to 4 in the afternoon, in the meeting room at the Library. These books were chosen at the group’s meeting in August 2016. For more information, call Tania Hajjar at 970/249-9656 (ext. 3).

The selection for June 2017 is Black Holes and Other Songs from Outer Space by Janna Levin.

The essence of black holes is their darkness.  When they 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 emanates as waves in the shape of spacetime: gravitational waves.  The only evidence is the sound of spacetime ringing.  In 1916, Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves.  One century later, we are recording the first sounds from space, the soundtrack to accompany astronomy’s silent movie.  In this book Janna Levin recounts the fascinating story of the obsessions, aspirations and trials of the scientists who embarked on an arduous endeavor to capture these elusive waves.  The experimental ambition began 50 years ago as an amusing thought experiment, a mad idea, and it became the object of fixation for Rai Weiss, Kip Thorne and Ron Drever.  Striving to make the ambition a reality, they 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 the team races to intercept a wisp of sound, hoping to succeed in time for 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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