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The Collapsing Universe: The Story of Black Holes

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  524 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Was the mysterious 30-megaton blast that flattened a Siberian forest in 1908 actually caused by a small black hole? Does matter drawn into a black hole reappear out the 'other side' as anti-matter, a sort of mirror-image of the universe as we know it? Could back holes explain the 'Big Bang'? Does their existence raise the possibility that matter can move faster than the sp ...more
Hardcover, 204 pages
Published June 1st 1989 by Walker & Company (first published January 1st 1977)
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Arunkumar Mahadevan Pillai
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who's ever wondered about the night sky and its sparkly bits
When I started reading Asimov's book this week, written over 30 years ago, I figured I'd be the better-informed, having absorbed current scientific knowledge in over a decade of technical education and more so for being a geek in general.

Turns out I was wrong.

Asimov writes about cosmic phenomena with heavy emphasis on basic concepts, without ever going over the head of the layman, while imparting new knowledge in almost every page. I learned so many things about the Earth, planets, the solar sys
Steve Van Slyke
Dec 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
It's been three decades since I first read this book. I decided to read it again after having just read Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution by Neil deGrasse Tyson because it seemed that Asimov had told a similar story, but in the opposite order in terms of mass. That is, the latter books starts with the universe and works its way down to planets, and Asimov's starts with the smallest objects, working its way progressively up to the most massive and the universe as a whole.

Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Тази малка книжка е препрочитам периодично , Азимов майсторски ни разкрива светът който ни заобикаля в галактиката .Черните дупки, вселената и нейният живот.
Oct 23, 2008 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This book is blowing my mind.
Claudio Balbin
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If the program of an Isaac Asimov's class was transcribed, it would be this book. ...more
Senthil Kumaran
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Good Doctor once again explains Cosmology in lucid terms. He starts off with simple premises, known facts, composes and slowly leads up to higher concepts, ultimately leading to the concept of "Black Hole". The book had a "trill" factor to it, as we discover the nature of black holes and what constitutes a black hole and how the universe might have formed.

I was "wow"ed by this book.
Aug 30, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this book because it provides a nice and simple view of physics, astronomy, and quantum mechanics. Simple to read and pretty simple to understand. An easy read.
Sep 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my top 10 all time books. It hit me at just the right time in my life.
Scott Holstad
Weak. I suppose this book may have been relevant for the average layperson when it was published and it even foresaw some things that would be generally confirmed just a couple of decades later, but he was also wrong on some things and while I've enjoyed some of his sci fi - naturally - I've always viewed him as a very inconsistent writer (some books in a series might be worth 5 stars while others will be worth 2), not that great of an original sci fi author (example: In the Foundation series, a ...more
Jun 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este libro consiste en ensayos que van guiando al lector hacia el conocimiento acerca de cuál es el ciclo de vida de una estrella.
El camino hacia el "Agujero Negro" comienza con una introducción que, en mi opinión, hace un muy buen trabajo de nivelar los conocimientos de distintos lectores hablando sobre densidades y los distintos tipos de fuerzas que se encuentran en nuestro universo junto con donde se encuentra cada una y cual es más fuerte. Una vez pasado ese estadio, Asimov comienza a habla
Ronan Gonçalves Figuerêdo
Most people know Isaac Asimov, for the work "I, ROBOT". My first contact with the author was during pre-adolescence through this book. And even with little knowledge of Physics at the time, I managed to understand how the Universe gears work. Its four fundamental forces, the planetary formation, the birth of a star, the White Dwarfs, the Neutron Stars, the Pulsars and, of course, the Black Holes. Isaac Asimov exposes in a simple way concepts that are very complicated. ...more
Julian Onions
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Really interesting to read this book from years back (1977) about black holes and supernova. It is amazing how far we have come in understanding, and yet how much also hasn't changed. I grew up on Asimov and read nearly everything he wrote, so was fun to revisit his style. However dn't use it as a reference!
Antonia & the Universe
This book blew my mind, even though I'm not on speaking terms with physics most of the time I understood everything and I am left a little speechless by some of the ideas explored here. I think when we got to the wormholes I was already gone. Loved the writing style. Would recommend. ...more
Bianca Sandale
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Auf dem Stand von damals geniales Sachbuch. Lässig geschrieben, wenn das in Physik in der Schule vorgekommen wäre.

Heute kann das fast nur mehr Michio Kaku - schreiben, dass man denkt, man kennt sich eh richtig gut aus, weils total lustig ist
Giovanna Andrade
I just wish we could have another Isaac Asimov in our time, to explain with such clarity and simplicity the advancetments of cosmology as he does in this book. Marvellous!
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science, _favourites_
I've always loved black holes and I've always wanted to read Asimov, but I never realized how well the two would go together.

It's extremely approachable, for the content concerned. He writes a lot like Sagan in that -even though astronomy requires a ton of math- he simplifies it and mostly states it in comparative terms like "1.4 times the mass of the Sun" rather than "2.7846 × 1030 kg".

The best part about this book, for me, wasn't even the black holes themselves -it was everything else leadin
Blagoy Nikolov
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Прегледах “Гравитационната гибел на Вселената” с цел да си припомня някои факти относно Вселената, така че да ми е по-лесно за по-сложните четива на тази тематика, които по определени причини бях оставил на заден план.

Азимов, като един от най-известните фантасти, е оставил дълбока следа върху тази книга, насочена към учениците от горен курс или просто любителите астрономи. Като начало стилът е много увлекателен (Азимов все пак), описанията са пределно ясни и формулирани по изключително разбираем
Colin Walsh
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned more about general science from this one book than I ever did in classes growing up. An absolutely fascinating read by an even more fascinating man. Please read this all the way through. It can be very technical at some points, but even not understanding half the calculations, Asimov makes the reader feel included and knowledgeable throughout.
Octavia Cade
Aug 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
Interesting enough but it does drag in parts. This (subjectively) suffers in comparison, I think, simply because I recently read Davies' The Last Three Minutes, which covered much the same ground and was really enjoyable.

In general, I've read a handful of Asimov's science books now, and sometimes it does feel a bit repetitive. I understand that in popular science you've got to start from the basics to ground your audience, but I feel like I've read something like the first chapter several times
Mark Heishman
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: high school students
Recommended to Mark by: found it browsing county library shelves
I read this book in high school to learn about black holes. Much theory about astronomy has been advanced since this book was written probably without contradicting the very clear explanation of different stellar bodies in space this book gives. The progressive discussion Asimov uses in this book is very easy to follow and I went away from it having learned much that I was able to recount again to others. I do not personally know if scientists agree today that the universe is collapsing, there i ...more
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Physics book. This is basically a book explaining how the theory of black holes came to be, and the physical evidence in nature to back it up. As of the writing of this book there had been no black holes discovered, and I did a quick Google search, and my initial impression is that they still have not found any. There is always the possibility that they are out there, just not where they can be detected from earth. Update as of April 2019, the first photo of a black hole has been published. Wr ...more
Enrico Ammirati
Dec 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un magnifico saggio per chi volesse avvicinarsi a come una stella nasce e muore e lascia memoria fisica di se'..e non e' una metafora ...more
Mar 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still valid??
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is awesome and scary in the same time. The scales, the predictions, the unknown - they frightened me. I recommend it to everyone who wants to learn more about our universe.
Julaine Hardie
Mar 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very first book I purchased, back in '78. I think I was 12? A science geek in the making... ...more
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
interesting read
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot about the universe from this book!
Abraham Revilla
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Física, agujeros negros, espacio, planetas, y ciencia al por mayor... "Ciencia"; nada más que eso. ...more
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned a great deal about astro physics from this book! Well written and easy to understand, it's a very interesting book! ...more
Alex Morgan
rated it liked it
Apr 15, 2009
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Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine o

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