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Book Cover for: Supermassive: Black Holes at the Beginning and End of the Universe, James Trefil

Supermassive: Black Holes at the Beginning and End of the Universe

James Trefil

Black holes, demystified: follow along the quest to understand the history and influence of one of space science's most fascinating and confounding phenomena

Led by physicist James Trefil and astrophysicist Shobita Satyapal, this book traverses the incredible history of black holes and introduces contemporary developments and theories on still unanswered questions about the enigmatic objects. From the early work of Albert Einstein and Karl Schwarzschild to an insider look at black hole-galaxy connection research led by co-author Satyapa, the comprehensive book surveys an exciting and evolving branch of space science, with topics that include:

  • Visibility of black holes
  • Quasars, the brightest objects in the universe
  • The black hole at the center of the Milky Way
  • Popular theories on the origin of black holes
  • Cosmic X rays
  • Death of supermassives
  • Black hole collisions
  • Black holes in science fiction

Invisible to the naked eye and telescopes, black holes have mystified and entranced astronomers, scientists, and humanity for more than a century. The first image of a supermassive black hole was only unveiled in 2019, and new black holes are continually discovered. Supermassive illuminates what we know about black holes so far and what we have yet to uncover.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Smithsonian Books
  • Publish Date: Mar 4th, 2025
  • Pages: 240
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 1.25lb
  • EAN: 9781588347893
  • Categories: Space Science - CosmologyPhysics - Astrophysics

About the Author

JAMES TREFIL is a professor of physics at George Mason University. He has written more than 50 books about science for the general audience and has served as Contributing Editor for Science for USA TODAY Weekend and as a regular contributor and science consultant for Smithsonian and Astronomy magazines. SHOBITA SATYAPAL is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at George Mason University. She received the NASA Presidential Early Career Award for her work on infrared spectroscopy and instrumentation. Her research centers on understanding the connection between the growth and evolution of supermassive black holes and the host galaxies in which they reside.