Experience the drama of the explosive cosmos and the astonishing discoveries being made about the universe's wildest phenomena. The violent birth of the universe was only the first bang of a very bumpy ride. This unfathomably cacophonous beginning has spawned blasts, implosions, cosmic cannibalism, collisions, and countless other fleeting energetic events punctuating the cosmos. Although often brief, these transient phenomena pack a powerful punch. Armed with decades of theoretical progress, unrivaled computing power, and cutting-edge technology, astronomers find themselves at the cusp of understanding not just the events themselves, but also how those events reveal the story of the entire cosmos. In Things That Go Bump in the Universe, astronomer and science writer C. Renee James introduces us to her colleagues around the world, who are using pioneering research techniques to explore everything from the very first explosions in the universe to the dark energy that could destroy it all. Along the way, James describes the history of transient astronomy, how the universe presents itself through various astronomical messengers, and the unexpected connections between different phenomena. Capturing the drama of a wild, violent cosmos for the curious reader, James explains a different category of transient event in each chapter, using easy-to-understand metaphors and stories to explain the science behind these awe-inspiring, cosmological encounters. Things That Go Bump in the Universe explores the incredible discoveries being made in this revolutionary field, the tools used to detect cosmic events, and the astronomical mysteries that continue to puzzle observers and theorists. James weaves together the stories of our turbulent universe-informative, entertaining, frequently perplexing, and occasionally philosophical-and the people who are trying to make sense of it.
C. Renee James (SPRING, TX) is a professor of physics and astronomy at Sam Houston State University. She is the author of Science Unshackled: How Obscure, Abstract, Seemingly Useless Scientific Research Turned Out to Be the Basis for Modern Life and Seven Wonders of the Universe That You Probably Took for Granted.
Preface 1. Catching Cosmic Fireflies 2. Out of the Question 3. Putting the "Super" in Supernova 4. Star-Shattering Energy 5. The Search for Smoking Guns 6. Detecting Cosmic Heartbeats 7. Stellar Arrhythmia 8. (Almost) No Star is an Island 9. The Making of a Superstar 10. Cloudy with a Chance of Neutrinos 11. Not "The End" 12. Collision Course 13. Fallen Stars 14. Don't Blink 15. Point Blank 16. Cats, Rats, and Fantastic Beasts, and How to Tell Them Apart 17. Cosmic Tremors 18. The Return of the Furbies 19. LIGO, We Have a Problem 20. Impeccable Timing 21. All Together Now 22. Multiple Eyewitness Accounts 23. Furbies - A New Hope 24. The First Bumps in the Universe 25. The Last Hurrah Epilogue: Ephemera Acknowledgments Bibliography Index
Experience the drama of the explosive cosmos and the astonishing discoveries being made about the universe's wildest phenomena.