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Things That Go Bump in the Universe

How Astronomers Decode Cosmic Chaos

C. Renée James

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Experience the drama of the explosive cosmos and the astonishing discoveries being made about the universe's wildest phenomena.

The violent birth of the universe was only the first bang of a very bumpy ride. This unfathomably cacophonous beginning has spawned blasts, implosions, cosmic cannibalism, collisions, and countless other fleeting energetic events punctuating the cosmos. Although often brief, these transient phenomena pack a powerful punch.

Armed with decades of theoretical progress, unrivaled computing power, and cutting-edge technology, astronomers find themselves at the cusp of...

Experience the drama of the explosive cosmos and the astonishing discoveries being made about the universe's wildest phenomena.

The violent birth of the universe was only the first bang of a very bumpy ride. This unfathomably cacophonous beginning has spawned blasts, implosions, cosmic cannibalism, collisions, and countless other fleeting energetic events punctuating the cosmos. Although often brief, these transient phenomena pack a powerful punch.

Armed with decades of theoretical progress, unrivaled computing power, and cutting-edge technology, astronomers find themselves at the cusp of understanding not just the events themselves, but also how those events reveal the story of the entire cosmos. In Things That Go Bump in the Universe, astronomer and science writer C. Renée James introduces us to her colleagues around the world, who are using pioneering research techniques to explore everything from the very first explosions in the universe to the dark energy that could destroy it all. Along the way, James describes the history of transient astronomy, how the universe presents itself through various astronomical messengers, and the unexpected connections between different phenomena. Capturing the drama of a wild, violent cosmos for the curious reader, James explains a different category of transient event in each chapter, using easy-to-understand metaphors and stories to explain the science behind these awe-inspiring, cosmological encounters.

Things That Go Bump in the Universe explores the incredible discoveries being made in this revolutionary field, the tools used to detect cosmic events, and the astronomical mysteries that continue to puzzle observers and theorists. James weaves together the stories of our turbulent universe—informative, entertaining, frequently perplexing, and occasionally philosophical—and the people who are trying to make sense of it.

Reviews

Reviews

Like a pulsar, the book is at times dense, but it also dazzles. It recasts modern astronomy as the search for transient, explosive events, and the messages they contain if only we can decode them.

A wonderful and beautifully written book that makes some very difficult concepts easy to understand. James explains recent advances in the field of transient astronomy, which has undergone a series of mini-revolutions in the last ten years, and features insights from the scientists and enthusiasts involved in these exciting discoveries.

A wonderfully engaging and user-friendly guide to the most spectacular of cosmic events. Renée James takes us from the Australian outback to the edge of the known universe on a journey that combines her fascinating personal experiences with the latest extraordinary scientific results.

When we look up at the night sky, it seems static and unchanging. But here Renee James gives us a fascinating, whirlwind tour of the sky's eccentric, changing phenomena. It is a lively and compelling read!

A fascinating, entertaining, and always understandable and personable journey through humanity's search to comprehend the most extreme events in our universe. Renée James is a researcher at the forefront of this global quest, so you're in good hands for a cosmically wild ride.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
304
ISBN
9781421446936
Subject
Table of Contents

Prologue. Flashes of Insight
Chapter 1. Catching Cosmic Fireflies
Chapter 2. Out of the Question
Chapter 3. Putting the "Super" in Supernova
Chapter 4. Star-Shattering Energy
Chapter 5. The Search for

Prologue. Flashes of Insight
Chapter 1. Catching Cosmic Fireflies
Chapter 2. Out of the Question
Chapter 3. Putting the "Super" in Supernova
Chapter 4. Star-Shattering Energy
Chapter 5. The Search for Smoking Guns
Chapter 6. Detecting Cosmic Heartbeats
Chapter 7. Stellar Arrhythmia
Chapter 8. (Almost) No Star Is an Island
Chapter 9. The Making of a Superstar
Chapter 10. Cloudy with a Chance of Neutrinos
Chapter 11. Not "The End"
Chapter 12. Collision Course
Chapter 13. Fallen Stars
Chapter 14. Don't Blink
Chapter 15. Point Blank
Chapter 16. Cats, Rats, and Fantastic Beasts, and How to Tell Them Apart
Chapter 17. Cosmic Tremors
Chapter 18. The Return of the Furbies
Chapter 19. LIGO, We Have a Problem
Chapter 20. Impeccable Timing
Chapter 21. All Together Now
Chapter 22. Multiple Eyewitness Accounts
Chapter 23. Furbies—A New Hope
Chapter 24. The First Bumps in the Universe
Chapter 25. The Last Hurrah
Epilogue. Ephemera
Acknowledgments
Bibliography
Index

Author Bio
C. Renée James
Featured Contributor

C. Renée James

C. Renee James (SPRING, TX) is a professor of physics and astronomy at Sam Houston State University. She is the author of Science Unshackled: How Obscure, Abstract, Seemingly Useless Scientific Research Turned Out to Be the Basis for Modern Life and Seven Wonders of the Universe That You Probably Took for Granted.