7 Books About Black Holes In Astrophysics

Learn About Black Holes

Black holes aren’t cosmic vacuum cleaners that go around sucking things up. They’re closer to time machines. A black hole is a gravity so strong that time slows down and comes to a standstill when you get near it. The time would stop. Black holes are the most exotic things in the universe; they can’t escape from them. They are so important in the overall way the universe works.

We can’t quite see black holes directly, especially for visible light. However, we can see their effect on the region of space around them. We can indirectly see a black hole since black holes have extremely high gravity. The surrounding material is funneled into a disk around a black hole like gas and dust. The gas atoms in the disk swirl around the black hole so fast that they heat up and emit X-rays and even higher energies of light. By finding this very hot material that is swirling into the black holes.

Astronomers can locate and study their properties. So astronomers study the motions of the objects in space to see if any material is moving around a black hole and being affected by it. One of the best hints of a black hole is when we see the motion of stars inside the cause of galaxies.

Evidence has been found for black holes in the centers of most large galaxies. They’ve also been found in binary star systems because of the motions of the other stars and materials. We’ve even seen a large black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

With a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, we can even understand the properties and makeup of a black hole. To discover more about black holes, there are many books about them. You can know more by reading these books. If you want to read books on Black Holes, follow me.

7 Books About Black Holes (Cosmology & Astronomy)

A black hole is not a hole, and it’s not empty. It’s filled with a lot of material crammed in a tiny space. Scientists think black holes are created in places where gravity crushes an enormous amount of matter together. This makes it incredibly dense. It can happen at the centers of large galaxies or when a giant star collapses and shrinks during the final stage of its short and brilliant life; like a tug of gravity on Earth, a black hole exerts some force on its surroundings.

The gravitational pull is so strong that even light can’t escape. So that is why they’re called black and don’t give off any light. To learn more about black holes, I will talk about 7 popular books about Black Holes that answer your question.

1. The Black Hole War

The Black Hole War is about the black hole information paradox and the erupted dispute between Stephen Hawking and Leonard Susskind on whether the information is lost in the black hole or somehow retrieved. The current central puzzle in physics reconciles the general theory of relativity with quantum mechanics.

Stephen Hawking, with quantum mechanics, showed that black holes aren’t entirely black. They radiate what is called Hawking Radiation. It will cause the black hole to evaporate completely, leaving no trace of information that fell into it.

The problem here is that it is not how physics works. In physics, we have what is called the conservation of information. Even if you throw a book on fire, the information in the book will somehow be encoded in the heat and light ade in burning the book. Leonard Susskind gives a fantastic example in the book.

If you take a bucket of water and put ink in it, you won’t find anything in it if you let the water evaporate. The ink would have faded with the water. But if Stephen Hawking were suitable black holes are different, and they do destroy any information that falls into them. In this book, Susskind explains how this ideology couldn’t be more wrong and the various steps taken to solve this puzzle from black hole complementarity.

Author: Leonard Susskind
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Astronomy, Quantum Theory
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

2. A Brief History of Time

There were two main branches of physics being developed in the 20th century. One is the theory of general relativity, and the other is quantum mechanics. So the theory of general relativity deals with the laws that govern huge structures like planets, stars, black holes, Big Bang, galaxies, and large cosmological structures. Quantum mechanics deals with the small laws governing atoms and subatomic particles.

Stephen Hawking discusses a grand unified theory in a brief history of time. The idea behind a grand unified theory is that laws can connect general relativity and quantum mechanics. It is also sometimes called the theory of everything.

A Brief History of Time is supposed to be geared towards the layperson. You are not supposed to need any background in theoretical astrophysics to make this book accessible. Hawking’s discussion on thermodynamics is robust and accessible. He explains why chaos is increasing in the same direction as the universe expanding and what happens with black holes.

Hawking lets us into his thoughts a bit, like a tiny window, not too much. But he talks about this special connection he feels with Sir Isaac Newton. Also, he seems to see himself standing on the shoulders of Albert Einstein and building off of the legacy that Einstein’s life work left behind.

Author: Stephen Hawking
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Relativity, Physics, Cosmology, Astronomy
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

3. Brief Answers To The Big Questions

Stephen Hawking was working on “Brief Answers To The Big Questions” when he was sick. Then, the book came to a stall because of his unfortunate death. What questions has he answered in the book, and in what manner? So some of the questions that he has addressed in this book are:

  • Is there a God?
  • How did it all begin?
  • Is there another intelligent life in this universe?
  • Can we predict the future?
  • What is inside a black hole?
  • Is time travel possible?
  • Will we survive on Earth?
  • Should we colonize space?
  • Will artificial intelligence outsmart us, or how do we shape the future?

All these questions are exciting, and we all want to know their answers. But the point is, are these questions answered in this book? Stephen Hawking takes you on this virtual tour where he talks about different topics, combines philosophies and scientific explanations, and does everything. But he doesn’t answer all these questions directly. So you won’t get a ready-made answer to all these questions.

At the end of the chapter, you will understand everything, and everything will be pretty clear to you, whatever he wanted to explain. What I love about the book is that the personality of Stephen Hawking comes across, and you enjoy reading it. It’s such a beautiful right to read this book. Also, it shows that he was a very humorous person and funny because many times in this book, he gets into this self-deprecating humor thing.

This book is a must-read if you love to read about different things like black holes. Although, this book will not present something groundbreaking or new that has never been discussed before. But the way Stephen Hawking presents his response to these questions intelligently in front of you.

Author: Stephen Hawking
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Physics, Cosmology, Astronomy
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

4. Death by Black Hole

Norton Books published Death by Black Hole, which has the eye of God on it. It’s broken down into seven sections and 42 chapters. They’re relatively small chapters, making it nice to read the in-between time. Reading about stars, quasars, black holes, and the weird and unusual quantum world is fun. The author covers everything in this book.

Neil Tyson is one of the greatest scientific educators we have ever had. He is probably unmatched when writing popular science books, where he covers topics that can be very counterintuitive. But he explains astrophysics very smoothly that anybody can understand without scientific knowledge.

Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Average Rating: 4.8/5
Category: Physics, Cosmology, Astronomy
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

5. Black Holes And Baby Universes And Other Essays

Black Holes And Baby Universes And Other Essays was published in 1993 by Bantam Books and is Stephen Hawking’s second major science book. Two chapters are dedicated to black holes. The chapters aren’t written specifically to make the topics easier to understand. Everything in this book is written in this style, and then this happens.

If you want to know more about black holes, this book covers many questions and answers to teach you. You will get some unknown information, and a new concept of the baby universe is related to the black hole. Collect this book if you solve your black-hole puzzle.

Author: Stephen W. Hawking
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Astrophysics & Space Science, Literary Letters, Cosmology
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio Cassette

6. Einstein’s Shadow: The Inside Story of Astronomers’ Decades-Long Quest to Take the First Picture of a Black Hole

Einstein’s Shadow is about an extensive group of astronomers working simultaneously at different telescopes worldwide and attempting to be the first team to photograph a black hole. It starts uniquely as a journalist and not a scientist writing it.

Telescopes can get a clearer, more tense image of something in outer space. If multiple telescopes worldwide work in unison, looking at the same thing, they can compare the data and get a much-sharpened image. That’s what researchers are attempting to do. It’s a massive task as weather patterns are different in different parts of the world that meet ideal conditions at these different telescopes.

At the same time, it takes several days to get enough data to get a clear picture over a long period. So it’s an enormous task that takes place over years and years.

Many other big-name scientists come into play, and it talks about the pursuit of seeing a black hole because we’ve never seen one. The team ultimately comes together toward the middle of the book and the end. They overcame many obstacles, from malfunctioning equipment to personality defects, to finally come together and get the data. So they get a glimpse of the black hole. What’s going to happen with this, and what will happen?

Things are working finally, and everything’s going as planned. At the end of this book, it turns out that these telescopes have accumulated so much data that has to be gone through that they won’t know if they glimpsed the black hole for potentially years to come. So that was highly anticlimactic at the end of this.

Author: Seth Fletcher
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Science Experiments & Projects
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD

7. Seven Brief Lessons On Physics

Seven Brief Lessons On Physics is aimed at the non-scientist. There’s math involved on the pages, and it’s easy to get lost if you don’t have a scientific background. But that is not the case with this book. The book lessons were written for those who know little about modern science.

This book talks about the big bang, black holes, and the big astrophysical perspective of the universe. It talks about the quantum world and the strangeness of how particles behave on such a small scale. It talks about general physics in the everyday world in a fun reading way.

The author not only provides very accessible summaries of seven key theories and foundational principles within physics, but he explains what it’s like to be a scientist. He writes this in a very narrative, easy-to-follow way, but it allows you to look up a word without breaking that pace and flow within each of the seven chapters.

You can learn about Einstein and how Einstein was the first to think about reality differently and how that led him to write his theory of relativity and everything. The author closes this book with a chapter on his philosophical view concerning science and humanity.

Author: Carlo Rovelli
Average Rating: 4.4/5
Category: Two-Hour Science & Math Short Reads, Astrophysics & Space Science
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

Black Hole Books for Beginners

If you’re looking for a book on black holes suitable for beginners, here are a few recommendations that explain the subject in a clear and accessible manner:

Black Holes – A Very Short Introduction by Katherine Blundell: This book is part of the “Very Short Introductions” series and provides a straightforward explanation of black holes, their formation, and their role in astrophysics.

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking: This classic book offers an accessible introduction to various topics in cosmology, including black holes. Hawking explains complex concepts in a way that is easy for readers without a background in physics.

The Little Book of Black Holes by Steven S. Gubser and Frans Pretorius: This book offers a compact and engaging introduction to black holes, covering their properties, the math behind them, and their role in the universe.

Black Holes and Time Warps – Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy by Kip S. Thorne: This book offers a more detailed overview of black holes, their history, and their implications in physics. Thorne does an excellent job of simplifying complex ideas for a broader audience.

These books cater to you with little or no prior knowledge of black holes or astrophysics, making you suitable choices as beginners interested in learning about this fascinating subject.

What is the tiny book about Black Holes?

Black Holes: A Very Short Introduction by Katherine Blundell is part of the “Very Short Introductions” series by Oxford University Press. This series is a compact and accessible approach to various subjects. Also, the book on black holes provides a clear and concise introduction to the topic, discussing their formation, properties, and significance in astrophysics.

If you’re looking for other books on Black Holes that are easy to digest, consider these titles:

  • Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy by Kip S. Thorne.
  • The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics by Leonard Susskind.
  • The Little Book of Black Holes by Steven S. Gubser and Frans Pretorius.

Who is famous for studying Black Holes?

Many scientists have made significant contributions to the study of black holes, but some of the most famous figures in this field include:

Stephen Hawking: Hawking was a theoretical physicist and cosmologist who made groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of black holes. His work on black hole radiation, now known as Hawking radiation, showed that black holes could emit particles and potentially evaporate over time.

Roger Penrose: Penrose, a British mathematical physicist, provided important insights into the nature of black holes and their formation. In collaboration with Stephen Hawking, he developed the Penrose-Hawking singularity theorems, demonstrating that singularities are a generic feature of spacetime under certain conditions.

John Wheeler: Wheeler is an American theoretical physicist. He was one of the pioneers in the study of black holes who coined the term “black hole” and helped develop the concept of the astrophysical object as we understand it today.

Kip Thorne: Thorne is an American theoretical physicist who has significantly contributed to our understanding of black holes, wormholes, and the broader field of gravitational physics. He was one of the scientists responsible for developing the LIGO project, which detected gravitational waves for the first time in 2015.

Last Words

Black Holes are one of the most mysterious phenomena in the universe, and learning about them can be both fascinating and intellectually rewarding. Understanding Black Holes can help you gain a broader perspective on the universe and the underlying principles of physics. It can also improve your general scientific literacy and critical thinking skills. If you are interested in astronomy, astrophysics, or the mysteries of the universe, reading books about Black Holes can be rewarding and enlightening.

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Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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