Einstein Was Right: The Science and History of Gravitational Waves

December 7, 2020
Einstein Was Right: The Science and History of Gravitational Waves

An authoritative interdisciplinary account of thehistoric discovery of gravitational wavesIn 1915, Albert Einstein predicted the existence ofgravitational waves—ripples in the fabric of space-time caused bythe movement of large masses—as part of the theory of generalrelativity. A century later, researchers with the LaserInterferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) confirmedEinstein's prediction, detecting gravitational waves generated bythe collision of two black holes. Shedding new light on thehundred-year history of this momentous achievement, EinsteinWas Right brings together essays by two of the physicists whowon the Nobel Prize for their instrumental roles in the discovery,along with contributions by leading scholars who offer unparalleledinsights into one of the most significant scientific breakthroughsof our time.This illuminating book features an introduction by Tilman Sauerand invaluable firsthand perspectives on the history andsignificance of the LIGO consortium by physicists Barry Barish andKip Thorne. Theoretical physicist Alessandra Buonanno discusses thenew possibilities opened by gravitational wave astronomy, andsociologist of science Harry Collins and historians of scienceDiana Kormos Buchwald, Daniel Kennefick, and Jürgen Renn providefurther insights into the history of relativity and LIGO. The bookcloses with a reflection by philosopher Don Howard on thesignificance of Einstein's theory for the philosophy ofscience.Edited by Jed Buchwald, Einstein Was Right is acompelling and thought-provoking account of one of the mostthrilling scientific discoveries of the modern age.