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Evalyn Gates

Einstein's Telescope

Experimental cosmology appears to indicate that much of the universe is dark, that is of a form currently unknown to us. In Einstein's Telescope: The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe Evalyn Gates tells of the new methods, and in particular gravitational lensing, which are being used to find out more about the dark component of our universe.

Gates starts with a look at our current understanding of the universe based on General Relativity (GR), and goes on to describe how this subject was developed, including Einstein's use of the cosmological constant. Most of the book is then about how gravitational lensing, based on GR, is used to investigate the nature of dark matter. Watching for a blip in the light curve of a star might indicate a massive body, such as a planet or even a black hole, passing in front of it. Further afield, the observation of distortion and multiple copies of a distant object can be used to calculate the mass of a galaxy or cluster in front of it, and show that its much more than is accounted for by visible material. More subtle is Weak Lensing, where distortion is used to build up a statistical picture of the composition of the universe. Gates also describes what is being done on Earth tofind out what dark matter is made of, and the book ends with a look at how dark energy is being investigated in cosmological models.

It's a well written book, being accessible to those without much previous knowledge of the subject, but with sufficient new material to keep the interest of more experienced readers. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to find out more about what our universe is made of. info
Hardcover 320 pages  
ISBN: 0393062384
Salesrank: 1190716
Weight:1.2 lbs
Published: 2009 W. W. Norton & Company
Amazon price £18.99
Marketplace:New from £14.34:Used from £0.01
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Product Description

“Splendidly satisfying reading, designed for a nonspecialist audience.”―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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 distorting the images of objects behind them. By allowing for the detection of mass where no light is found, scientists can map out the distribution of dark matter and come a step closer to teasing out the effects of dark energy on the Universe―which may forever upend long-held notions about where the Universe came from and where it is going. 8 pages of color; 40 b/w illustrations