black holes and baby universes

A place to hang out and chat about astronomy

black holes and baby universes

Postby qu54856bo » Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:50 pm

Well, as Dave (gammalog) has rightly encouraged us to use the forum more, but as there is not much to say about the sky which we haven't seen for a while, I thought I would mention my current astro read. I am battling through another Stephen Hawking, 'Black Holes and Baby Universes' and thoroughly enjoying it. If you don't know it, it is a collection of essays and lectures by this brilliant mind. At times it leaves me completely baffled -
eg. '...it seems that one may have to make an infinite number number of infinite subtractions with a correspondingly infinite number of indeterminate finite remainders' (p54) - see what I mean! But it is worth the struggle to try and comprehend this marvellous universe, or is that universes? I am also dipping into 'Turn Left at Orion' though I need the sky to progress that one. I am also reading the inestimable Mr. Moore's 'On Mars' when time permits.

What astro reads have others enjoyed and would recommend?

best wishes
Auray
qu54856bo
 
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:22 am

RE: black holes and baby universes

Postby piglet » Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:06 pm

Hi Auray,

Have you read the other books by Stephen Hawking? i would reccomend reading "The Universe In A Nutshell" which is the sequel to"A Brief History Of Time" and much better IMHO because it concerns it's self with discoveries found after"A Brief History Of Time"[;)].

James
piglet
 
Posts: 1729
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:19 pm

RE: black holes and baby universes

Postby jsc248 » Thu Feb 23, 2006 10:06 pm

Hi Auray,
Where do I begin? In the past I have read so many astronomy books sometimes it is difficult to remember them.
I have read the Black Holes and Baby Universes book and like yourself found it fascinating and at times just plain baffling!!
I have read, and own, well over 100 of Sir Patricks books, it's his fault I got into this hobby in the first place! Of his books the Time Life series he wrote with Prof. Garry Hunt were particularly good but sadly dated now! A very good book of Sir Patricks is Futures. It is a look at the future of space travel and the possibility of colonisation, beautifully illustrated by David Hardy, I would definately recommend this one.
If you like pictorial books then Full Moon by Michael Light is excellent. It publishes high qualty, high definition pictures of the Moon taken by the Apollo astronauts, brilliant. Also Visions Of mars by Olivier De Goursac which is a wonderfully pictorial book of photographs from all spacecraft from the Vikings to Spirit and Opportunity, brilliant again!
I also like to read older books such as the Story Of The Solar System by G.F.Chambers (the one that got Sir patrick interested in astronomy) 1902 and Our Wonderful Universe byC.A.Chant 1929.
I also have quite a lot of Sir Patricks science fiction books, not astronomy but interesting just the same.
I'd better stop there or I'll keep going for too long!!
jsc248.
To me astronomy is looking up and thinking "What the heck is going on up there!!"
jsc248
 
Posts: 3598
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:23 pm
Location: Huyton,Merseyside

RE: black holes and baby universes

Postby tonys » Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:20 am


As an intro book into the various subjects I would recommend the 'Introducing' books eg:

[blockquote]
Introducing Stephen Hawking
Introducing Time
Introducing Quatum Theory
Introducing Einstein
Introducing Chaos[/blockquote]I read 'Black Holes and Baby Universes' a while ago and have read other Stephen Hawking books eg: Brief History, Nutshell, and A Briefer History.

The author I have found to give the clearest, most easily understood insight into theorectical physics is Brian Greene, try 'The Elegant Universe' its very good. This guy should get a Crystal Mark for the clarity of his writing.

I'm currently reading 2 books,

[blockquote]
Universe (this book is an absolute masterpiece)
Exploring the Night Sky with Binoculars (By Sir Patrick Moore CBE FRS)[/blockquote]Authors I would avoid? Only 1, Sir Martin Rees. I think he uses 20 long obscure words where 2 short plain words will do and I dont like having to carry a dictionary around with me when I'm reading. I dont mind learning new words but I prefer books to be written in plain english, the subject matter can be complicated enough as it is.

My trouble is I go into Waterstones to buy one book and come out with five. I've got a lot of reading to catch up on.
tonys
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:22 pm

RE: black holes and baby universes

Postby gammalog » Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:26 am

Well done Auray, an excellent topic for a 'post', and I'm very happy to add my bit to it.

I have just finished reading, albeit it's such a superb reference I'll go back to it time and time again, "The Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing", by Richard Berry and James Burrell.

The book is probably the most comprehensive reference on the subject there is, and although at £75 (including the bonus software AIP4WIN 2.0) its expensive, I consider it money very well spent.

Although I do reasonably will with astro image processing, reading the book showed me just how much I didn't know about the subject, and some of the complex Algorithms involved.

On my list of books to buy is "The New CCD Astronomy" by Ron Wodaski. This covers all aspects of CCD astro imaging, from capture techniques to final processing. From comments and reviews that I have read, it seems that its one of the best 'all round' books on the subject there is.

gammalog
 
Posts: 840
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:21 pm

RE: black holes and baby universes

Postby asterixhb » Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:43 am

I wholeheartedly recommend a book by Allan Chapman entitled "Gods in the Sky" (Channel 4 books). It details the devolpment of astronomy from the advent of man looking up to current times. I admit I found the first 50 or so pages a bit uninspiring but after that I could not put it down. I haven't read it for about 2 years but I am going to dig it out from wherever it is hiding and have another read of it.

Kev G
asterixhb
 
Posts: 565
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:20 pm

RE: black holes and baby universes

Postby triskellion » Mon Feb 27, 2006 1:20 pm

Hi guys ive just finished reading the search for schrodingers cat by John Gribben, which was pretty heavy for me so am now taking a break with a douglas adams book. I like to rotate between things which make me laugh and things which are way to clever for me. Keeps my brain warm on cold nights and my face smiling on cloudy ones.
triskellion
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:23 pm

RE: black holes and baby universes

Postby asterixhb » Mon Feb 27, 2006 1:53 pm

If you want to carry out your own research on Schroedinger's cat theory, I've got 2 moggies you can have[image]http://forum.skyatnightmagazine.com/micons/m11.gif[/image]. You'll have to provide your own box though[image]http://forum.skyatnightmagazine.com/micons/m9.gif[/image].

Kev G
asterixhb
 
Posts: 565
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:20 pm

RE: black holes and baby universes

Postby triskellion » Mon Feb 27, 2006 2:10 pm

Thanks for the invite mate but i got two of my own already and believe me thats quite enough for the time being. No more dead mice under my bed thanks. In fact the box would be more usefull i think
triskellion
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:23 pm

RE: black holes and baby universes

Postby asterixhb » Mon Feb 27, 2006 2:26 pm

You misunderstand me. I was not asking if you wanted the cats, I'm begging you. Though how I'll explain it to the wife and kids (whose cats they are) I'm not sure yet.
What if I vac pack them in an airtight plastic box and send them by snail mail. At least they will still be fresh. [image]http://forum.skyatnightmagazine.com/micons/m9.gif[/image]

Kev G
asterixhb
 
Posts: 565
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:20 pm

Next

Return to General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests