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Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy - Kip Thorne

Updated on July 8, 2023
black holes and time warps Einstein and kip thone
black holes and time warps Einstein and kip thone

The theory of relativity is undoubtedly the most intriguing and greatest legacy of Einstein. It is the heart of modern science. And there is no scientist who doesn’t consider it one of the best scientific contributions by an individual. In the area of modern gravitational physics, the author, Kip Thorne is quite popular. A lot of books have been written about black holes and modern science, but Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy is by far the most popular.

Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy opens with a discussion on the special theory of relativity as well as the general theory of relativity. There’s also a mention of gravitational field in almost all aspects of our universe. There’s also a discussion on how black holes started to exist, particularly stellar implosion. Many of the critics say that the author succeeded in explaining the still trivial aspects of our universe. Thorne’s style is basically chronological, except for some parts that need a little twist. His style is to weave scientific concepts along a historical structure. In this way, the readers are able to connect the more difficult concepts with a directional, narrative concept as history. Indeed it is an interesting cocktail of science, history, and opinions aimed at making an ordinary individual understand the workings of our universe.

Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy focuses and tries to explain hard to fathom concepts such as black holes, worm holes, singularities, and gravitational waves. Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy contains a somewhat full history of Einstein's quest for relativity and the early contributions of others, as well as how others scientists used his concepts and field equations to unlock many secrets of the universe. 

It is evident that the author is really passionate about the research, which is a brainchild of Einstein. In this brilliantly written book, Kip Thorn takes his readers through a many interlocking themes and extends efforts to answer questions such as: what principles control our universe and why do the physicists think they really know what they know? What is the basis for this confidence? The author answers all those questions and more.

In Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy, the author introduces to its readers his colleagues that helped in the emergence of some of the concepts. He knows these people really well, thus his introductions are deeper and his descriptions are more accurate. It is crafty that this doesn’t distract the readers from following the flow of the storyline.

Black Holes and Time Warps: Einsteins Outrageous Legacy
Black Holes and Time Warps: Einsteins Outrageous Legacy

Since Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy contains no mathematical equations aside from a few notes, it may be considered non technical by some. Thorne’s writing style is easy and aimed at targeting the lay audience.  But due to the subject’s complexity, it is not an easy read.  Readers might need to go over it again and again in order to gain full understanding and attain the author’s perspective. More importantly, it might help if the reader has a bit of background on the subject.

 Over all, Black holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy is a wonderful, exciting book. Some people may think that a 600-page book can be somewhat dragging. Surprisingly, this one is hard to put down. It gets the readers excited and there is consistent momentum to finish it till the last page. Many, especially the younger ones, would appreciate reading this book as it is an entirely different experience.


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