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Einstein's Telescope: The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  171 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Evalyn Gates, a talented astrophysicist, transports readers to the edge of contemporary science to explore the revolutionary tool—”Einstein’s telescope”—that is unlocking the secrets of the Universe. Einstein’s telescope, or gravitational lensing, is so-called for the way gravity causes space to distort and allow massive objects to act like “lenses,” amplifying and distort ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published February 22nd 2010 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 1st 2009)
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Aug 29, 2010 Joe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physics
As a doe-eyed graduate-level physics student, I have this terrible habit of reading books like Einstein's Telescope and falling completely in love with a very specific subfield of science. Then I'm all like, "Oh dip Evalyn Gates I could totally get into gravitational lensing to map dark matter halos around galaxies!" and then the next week I'm all like, "I love inflationary cosmology and am now a disciple of the anthropic principle see you soon Alex Vilenkin!"

I hope you weren't looking for a re
Mar 03, 2010 Joshua rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At this point in time, big science is stuck in the slow lane. The glut of new theories and discoveries in high energy physics, astrophysics and cosmology which marked the twentieth century has hit a wall of foam and is barely inching its way through. The trouble plagued Large Hadron Collider won't be up to full power until the middle of the decade putting a hold on the search for the Higgs boson. String theory seems to be going nowhere and fusion power is forever twenty years in the future.

Bill Desjardins
Good treatment, but uses a little too frequently over-simplified analogies to scientific concepts.
Whew! It took me six weeks to get through this astrophysics book. I haven't picked up a physics book since high school and was hesitant to start reading this. While this book was interesting, the subject matter was intense and I found myself re-reading sections two or three times to ensure I comprehended the concepts. Evalyn Gates does an excellent job of explaining Einstein's theories and how they are harnessing those theories to explore dark matter and dark energy.

Daniel Shawen
Jun 06, 2014 Daniel Shawen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book, and the first one I have read from Evalyn Gates.

I previously had no idea that the Hubble Space Telescope was being so heavily used in order to find gravitational lensing, or the specific technology (interferometry) being used to do this.

Evidently, this particular heavy use of HST was something of an afterthought. In retrospect, it probably would have been prudent to design instruments for this express purpose. If this technique can be used to find gravitational lensing so e
Jun 10, 2015 Donovan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didnt-finish
I read a bunch of reviews lauding this is an accurate and approachable work on modern physics. Accurate, yes. But drier than a bagel toasted in Hell. I got about forty pages in. Any recommendations for good books on this subject would be appreciated.
Aug 21, 2011 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Generally good. lost sometimes. But clarified very odd new things
Oct 24, 2009 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you haven't kept up with recent work in astronomy (as I haven't) you'll will learn a great deal from this book. There has been a revolution in cosmology in the last ten years. Did you know that "ordinary" matter only makes up 5% of the universe? Did you know that astrophysicists are discovering that our understanding of the universe is far more limited than they thought only ten years ago? Did you know that the universe consists mostly of dark energy and nobody knows what it is? It's a very e ...more
The first title of this book really says it all, 'Einsteins Telescope' is definately the subject. The subtitle 'The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe' is covered, but it is definately not the focus of this book.

Gates starts off with a brief overview of cosmology and physics, basically what you will need to know to continue reading. She then describes Einsteins telescope, which is gravitational lensing, and its many uses, some of which happen to be discovering the presence of d
James F
Feb 05, 2016 James F rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very clear and simple introduction to the idea of gravitational lenses and the uses to which they are being put in observational astronomy. One of the most important questions in astrophysics and cosmology today is the question of what the universe is made of; the dark matter and dark energy which seem to make up the vast majority of the mass of the universe (unless our understanding of gravity needs to be revised), about which we know virtually nothing. Gates explains very well in popular, no ...more
May 12, 2010 Joe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A most interesting book validating the use of space to create a magnifying glass into the past by useing the most prevelant matter in the universe, "DARK MATTER". The presence of dark matter is proved by its graviational effects on time and light and this book reminds us that nothing is impossible as we are just knocking at the door of the science of minor particles and the space-time continium.

Its worth the read and is written for the non scientist as other scientists have brought us up to da
Apr 12, 2010 Lorileinart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent...kept me reading for 2 long nights.
Gates perfectly illustrates where we (mankind) now stand regarding our understanding of dark matter and dark energy. I could go on about that, but who's really going to care or understand? (if you DO, by all means, msg me!)
The unexpected strength of this book, however, is the author's ability to illuminate relativity in a very accessible way. Whatever your understanding of Einstein's theories, you will come away with a greater sense of what they mean
J. D.
Jun 09, 2009 J. D. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a layman who drew some esthetic comfort from the Big-Bang/Expansion/Contraction/Big-Crunch cosmological model, I have read reports, in the last ten or fifteen years, of the discovery of expansion-acceleration with mixed feelings. However, if one has to receive bad news, it should be as expertly and concisely delivered as possible -- and the author, an experienced reasearcher, has filled that need admirably. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
Synthetic Vox
Jul 29, 2013 Synthetic Vox rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very lucid writing of a difficult topic. However, as others have mentioned, not very much character in the writing. Some of the chapters seemed to be add-ons, particularly the black homes and planets piece and the dark energy piece. This is mostly a book about how gravitational lensing is used to understand space. It would have been nice to have more declarative summary statements at the beginning of chapters. Worth a read, but a little dry.
Jul 24, 2009 Jean-claude rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an engrossing overview of gravitational lensing and the associated physics of dark energy and dark matter. Often books like these gloss over theory but Gates does a fantastic job of presenting enough evidence in sufficient detail to make it interesting. The fact that we don't understand what makes up most of the universe is pretty humbling and thought provoking. It certainly made my trip to the west coast seem a lot shorter.
Mar 28, 2009 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good survey of what's going on these days in observational astronomy (gravitational lensing), and how it connects to the search for the nature of dark mater and dark energy. With tie-ins to cosmology, string theory, and all that pencil and paper stuff. The lensing phenomenon is a novel idea and could provide some answers to those bigger mysteries. Time will tell.
Oct 18, 2011 Sean rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Exceptionally dull reading. I mean sure, it's interesting to hear about the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, but since no one's actually seen any of it, the book is all about methods scientists are and could be using to detect it. That is, if it actually exists. Which maybe it doesn't, or at least not in the way anyone thinks it does.
Jun 07, 2011 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a highly accessible and very well written account of the search for dark matter, dark energy, and some of the other current issues in physics today. The author explains difficult concepts in everyday terms without talking down to the reader, and makes the story of the discovery of gravitational lensing interesting.
Jul 09, 2012 Darrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was impressed with the author's ability to make this very complex research accessible to someone with very little cosmology background! I'd say I understood about 70% of the concepts. If you have any interest in space and our universe give this book a shot.
Feb 21, 2011 Charles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, kindle
Decent book that introduced me to a subject I'd not really read about before, but missing that certain spark the best books of this type have, conveying the author's excitement about the subject to the reader.
Eric Robinson
Feb 21, 2012 Eric Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: physics, cosmology
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I knew very little about gravitational lensing before I started this book, and now realize the HUGE impact that it's had on the world of cosmology. Fantastic read.
Dec 21, 2010 Kari rated it it was ok
I couldn't pay attention enough to really appreciate this book; my interest in astronomy has temporarily been distracted by sewing and family history. So maybe I'll have to try it again some time.
Johnathan Ungricht
Mar 31, 2013 Johnathan Ungricht rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-bookshelf
Evelyn Gates is extraordinarily capable of making difficult concepts easier to understand. I definitely recommend this text to all people with astronomical curiosities.
美麗 (Ben)
This book was awesome! I really learned a lot from it, and I got my dad to read it as well. (He agrees.) I would seriously recommend it.
May 14, 2009 George rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, book
Very interesting way to explain some of Einstein's theories applied to modern equipment. It is a pretty easy read with almost no math.
Feb 29, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good explanation of where the hunt for physics now lies. Bit hard to follow, but interesting all the same.
Nov 27, 2010 Taja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A wonderful book! It is amazing what you learn about the advances in astrophysics.
May 19, 2013 Kumersis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Serval Spots
Serval Spots marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2016
Guy Riessen
Guy Riessen rated it really liked it
Jan 29, 2016
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