Gravity How the Weakest Force in the Universe Shaped Our Lives

Brian Clegg

St. Martin's Press

0312616295

9780312616298

Hardcover

336 Pages

$25.99

Request Exam Copy Request Desk Copy
Physicists will tell you that four forces control the universe. Of these, gravity may the most obvious, but it is also the most mysterious. Newton managed to predict the force of gravity but couldn’t explain how it worked at a distance. Einstein picked up on the simple premise that gravity and acceleration are interchangeable to devise his mind-bending general relativity, showing how matter warps space and time. Not only did this explain how gravity worked—and how apparently simple gravitation has four separate components—but it predicted everything from black holes to gravity’s effect on time. Whether it’s the reality of anti-gravity or the unexpected discovery that a ball and a laser beam drop at the same rate, gravity is the force that fascinates.

REVIEWS

Praise for Gravity

"Although by far the feeblest of the four universal forces, gravity is the only one we experience continuously. Every inquisitive person should read a book about it, preferably this one . . . Clegg's skills never flag and his account remains lucid and free of jargon, bad jokes, and math phobia."—Kirkus (starred review)

"Gravity is one of the most accepted laws of science. Drop an object and it falls to earth because of the attraction between the earth and the object. What alerts the earth and the object to act? Is there a sort of communication between them? Theoretical physicists have struggled to explain gravitational attraction over distance since Einstein posed his theories of special and general relativity. Quantum theory, string theory, M theory, and other theoretical inquiries have failed to solve the riddle. In his history of gravity from the Big Bang to the present, popular science author Clegg recounts international efforts to understand what is thought to be the weakest yet most essential force holding the universe together. Black holes, warps in space and time, and antimatter are featured in this wide-ranging account, which will be of interest to science students and readers of science fiction."—Rick Roche, Booklist

"Clegg's accessible presentation offers insight into everything from Aristotelian science to black holes and string theory as it reveals the complexities and surprise of a familiar force that continues to surprise scientists."—Publishers Weekly

In the Press

GRAVITY by Brian Clegg | Kirkus Book Reviews
Read the Kirkus Review of GRAVITY How the Weakest Force in the Universe Shaped Our Lives. Although by far the feeblest of the four universal forces, gravity is the only one we experience continuously. Every inquisitive person should read a book about it, preferably this one by prolific British science writer Clegg (<em>How to Build a Time Machine: The Real Science of Time Travel<em>, 2011, etc.).

Reviews from Goodreads

BACK

BOOK EXCERPTS

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE
WHAT GOES UP
 
 
So in all their procedinges … they shew themselffes to be men of gravyte and wisedom.
—State Papers of Henry VIII (1849), VII.614
Hold this book in your hand and let go. What will happen? It’s such an obvious question that it feels embarrassing to have to ask it. But humor me. What will happen? You don’t have to carry out the experiment to know the answer. The book will fall. Why? Just as embarrassingly obvious. Because of gravity.
This is the most directly obvious force of nature. Its influence is programmed
Read the full excerpt
BACK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Brian Clegg

  • Brian Clegg is most recently the author of How to Build a Time Machine. He holds a physics degree from Cambridge and has written regular columns, features, and reviews for numerous magazines. He lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and two children
  • Brian Clegg
    Brian Clegg
BACK

READING GUIDE

OTHER GUIDES

Teacher's Guide
BACK