Is Einstein Still Right?: Black Holes, Gravitational Waves, and the Quest to Verify Einstein's Greatest Creation
Albert Einstein is often viewed as the icon of genius,and his theories are admired for their beauty and correctness. Yetthe final judge of any theory is the rigorous test of experiment,not the fame of its inventor or the allure of itsmathematics.For decades, general relativity has passed test after test withflying colors, including some remarkable new tests using therecently detected gravitational waves. Still, there are reasons fordoubt. Einstein's theory of gravity, as beautiful as it is, seemsto be in direct contradiction with another theory he helped create:quantum mechanics. Until recently, this was considered to be apurely academic affair. But as more and more data pour in from themost distant corners of the universe, hinting at bizarre stuffcalled "dark energy" and "dark matter," some scientists have begunto explore the possibility that Einstein's theory may not provide acomplete picture of the cosmos.This book chronicles the latest adventures of scientists as theyput Einstein's theory to the test in ever more precise andastonishing ways, and in ever more extreme situations, when gravityis unfathomably intense and rapidly churning. From the explosionsof neutron stars and the collisions of black holes to the modernscientific process as a means to seek truth and understanding inthe cosmos, this book takes the reader on a journey of learning anddiscovery that has been 100 years in the making.