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Gravity s Kiss

Gravity s Kiss Author Harry Collins
ISBN-10 9780262036184
Release 2017-01-27
Pages 416
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A fascinating account, written in real time, of the unfolding of a scientific discovery: the first detection of gravitational waves.



Gravity s Shadow

Gravity s Shadow Author Harry Collins
ISBN-10 9780226113791
Release 2010-08-15
Pages 864
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According to the theory of relativity, we are constantly bathed in gravitational radiation. When stars explode or collide, a portion of their mass becomes energy that disturbs the very fabric of the space-time continuum like ripples in a pond. But proving the existence of these waves has been difficult; the cosmic shudders are so weak that only the most sensitive instruments can be expected to observe them directly. Fifteen times during the last thirty years scientists have claimed to have detected gravitational waves, but so far none of those claims have survived the scrutiny of the scientific community. Gravity's Shadow chronicles the forty-year effort to detect gravitational waves, while exploring the meaning of scientific knowledge and the nature of expertise. Gravitational wave detection involves recording the collisions, explosions, and trembling of stars and black holes by evaluating the smallest changes ever measured. Because gravitational waves are so faint, their detection will come not in an exuberant moment of discovery but through a chain of inference; for forty years, scientists have debated whether there is anything to detect and whether it has yet been detected. Sociologist Harry Collins has been tracking the progress of this research since 1972, interviewing key scientists and delineating the social process of the science of gravitational waves. Engagingly written and authoritatively comprehensive, Gravity's Shadow explores the people, institutions, and government organizations involved in the detection of gravitational waves. This sociological history will prove essential not only to sociologists and historians of science but to scientists themselves.



Gravity s Ghost and Big Dog

Gravity s Ghost and Big Dog Author Harry Collins
ISBN-10 9780226052328
Release 2014-01-23
Pages 368
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Gravity’s Ghost and Big Dog brings to life science’s efforts to detect cosmic gravitational waves. These ripples in space-time are predicted by general relativity, and their discovery will not only demonstrate the truth of Einstein’s theories but also transform astronomy. Although no gravitational wave has ever been directly detected, the previous five years have been an especially exciting period in the field. Here sociologist Harry Collins offers readers an unprecedented view of gravitational wave research and explains what it means for an analyst to do work of this kind. Collins was embedded with the gravitational wave physicists as they confronted two possible discoveries—“Big Dog,” fully analyzed in this volume for the first time, and the “Equinox Event,” which was first chronicled by Collins in Gravity’s Ghost. Collins records the agonizing arguments that arose as the scientists worked out what they had seen and how to present it to the world, along the way demonstrating how even the most statistical of sciences rest on social and philosophical choices. Gravity’s Ghost and Big Dog draws on nearly fifty years of fieldwork observing scientists at the American Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory and elsewhere around the world to offer an inspired commentary on the place of science in society today.



Gravity

Gravity Author Pierre Binétruy
ISBN-10 9780198796510
Release 2018-03-28
Pages 256
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This delightfully written book takes the reader on a journey though the history of gravity, from the 16th century experiments of Galileo, through the remarkable insights of Einstein, to the recent observations of gravitational radiation from cataclysmic cosmic events: the merger of two black holes. THe history of the Universe itself, from the Big Bang to the present, is traced in a way that delineates the essential role played by gravity in its evolution. THe reader is afforded the option of following these stories with varying degrees of attention to technical detail. AT whatever level suits ones taste, a fascinating trip is in store. MAry Gaillard, Professor Emeritus, Physics Department, University of California, Berkeley



Ripples in Spacetime

Ripples in Spacetime Author Govert Schilling
ISBN-10 9780674971660
Release 2017-07-31
Pages 340
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The detection of gravitational waves—ripples in spacetime—has already been called the scientific coup of this century. Govert Schilling recounts the struggles that threatened to derail the quest and describes the detector’s astounding precision, weaving far-reaching discoveries about the universe into a gripping story of ambition and perseverance.



Traveling at the Speed of Thought

Traveling at the Speed of Thought Author Daniel Kennefick
ISBN-10 9781400882748
Release 2016-03-29
Pages 336
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Since Einstein first described them nearly a century ago, gravitational waves have been the subject of more sustained controversy than perhaps any other phenomenon in physics. These as yet undetected fluctuations in the shape of space-time were first predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity, but only now, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, are we on the brink of finally observing them. Daniel Kennefick's landmark book takes readers through the theoretical controversies and thorny debates that raged around the subject of gravitational waves after the publication of Einstein's theory. The previously untold story of how we arrived at a settled theory of gravitational waves includes a stellar cast from the front ranks of twentieth-century physics, including Richard Feynman, Hermann Bondi, John Wheeler, Kip Thorne, and Einstein himself, who on two occasions avowed that gravitational waves do not exist, changing his mind both times. The book derives its title from a famously skeptical comment made by Arthur Stanley Eddington in 1922--namely, that "gravitational waves propagate at the speed of thought." Kennefick uses the title metaphorically to contrast the individual brilliance of each of the physicists grappling with gravitational-wave theory against the frustratingly slow progression of the field as a whole. Accessibly written and impeccably researched, this book sheds new light on the trials and conflicts that have led to the extraordinary position in which we find ourselves today--poised to bring the story of gravitational waves full circle by directly confirming their existence for the very first time.



The Shape of Actions

The Shape of Actions Author Harry Collins
ISBN-10 9780262292931
Release 1999-01-05
Pages 224
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What can humans do? What can machines do? How do humans delegate actions to machines? In this book, Harry Collins and Martin Kusch combine insights from sociology and philosophy to provide a novel answer to these increasingly important questions.The authors begin by distinguishing between two basic types of intentional behavior, which they call polimorphic actions and mimeomorphic actions. Polimorphic actions (such as writing a love letter) are ones that community members expect to vary with social context. Mimeomorphic actions (such a swinging a golf club) do not vary. Although machines cannot act, they can mimic mimeomorphic actions. Mimeomorphic actions are thus the crucial link between what humans can do and what machines can do. Following a presentation of their detailed categorization of actions, the authors apply their approach to a broad range of human-machine interactions and to learning. Key examples include bicycle riding and the many varieties of writing machines. They also show how their theory can be used to explain the operation of organizations such as restaurants and armies. Finally, they look at a historical case -- the technological development of the air pump -- applying their categorization of actions to the processes of mechanization and automation. Automation, they argue, can occur only where what we want to bring about can be brought about through mimeomorphic action.



Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational Wave Physics and Astronomy Author Jolien D. E. Creighton
ISBN-10 9783527636044
Release 2012-01-09
Pages 381
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This most up-to-date, one-stop reference combines coverage of both theory and observational techniques, with introductory sections to bring all readers up to the same level. Written by outstanding researchers directly involved with the scientific program of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), the book begins with a brief review of general relativity before going on to describe the physics of gravitational waves and the astrophysical sources of gravitational radiation. Further sections cover gravitational wave detectors, data analysis, and the outlook of gravitational wave astronomy and astrophysics.



Artificial Experts

Artificial Experts Author Harry M. Collins
ISBN-10 0262531151
Release 1992-11-13
Pages 266
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An in-depth look at the ordinary and extraordinary things computers can do.



Introduction to Spacetime

Introduction to Spacetime Author Bertel Laurent
ISBN-10 9789814579148
Release 1995-01-16
Pages 204
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The theory of relativity is tackled directly in this book, dispensing with the need to establish the insufficiency of Newtonian mechanics. This book takes advantage from the start of the geometrical nature of the relativity theory. The reader is assumed to be familiar with vector calculus in ordinary three-dimensional Euclidean space. Contents:Principles. Basic Applications:Clocks and AccelerationVector AlgebraVector CharacteristicsSimultaneity and Space DistanceLinear IndependenceRelative Velocity and Four-VelocityTwo-Dimensional SpacetimePlane WavesParticle ReactionsCurved World LinesTensors:Definition and ExamplesAlgebraic PropertiesTensor FieldsSpacetime VolumesCurrentsElectrodynamics:Sourcefree ElectromagnetismElectro-Magnetism with SourcesSolution of the Wave Equation Readership: Undergraduates and graduates in astronomy and astrophysics.



Bad Call

Bad Call Author Harry Collins
ISBN-10 9780262337755
Release 2016-09-30
Pages 296
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Good call or bad call, referees and umpires have always had the final say in sports. Bad calls are more visible: plays are televised backward and forward and in slow motion. New technologies -- the Hawk-Eye system used in tennis and cricket, for example, and the goal-line technology used in English football -- introduced to correct bad calls sometimes get it right and sometimes get it wrong, but always undermine the authority of referees and umpires. Bad Call looks at the technologies used to make refereeing decisions in sports, analyzes them in action, and explains the consequences.Used well, technologies can help referees reach the right decision and deliver justice for fans: a fair match in which the best team wins. Used poorly, however, decision-making technologies pass off statements of probability as perfect accuracy and perpetuate a mythology of infallibility. The authors re-analyze three seasons of play in English Premier League football, and discover that goal line technology was irrelevant; so many crucial wrong decisions were made that different teams should have won the Premiership, advanced to the Champions League, and been relegated. Simple video replay could have prevented most of these bad calls. (Major League baseball learned this lesson, introducing expanded replay after a bad call cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game.)What matters in sports is not computer-generated projections of ball position but what is seen by the human eye -- reconciling what the sports fan sees and what the game official sees.



Space Telescopes

Space Telescopes Author Neil English
ISBN-10 9783319278148
Release 2016-11-08
Pages 312
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Space telescopes are among humankind’s greatest scientific achievements of the last fifty years. This book describes the instruments themselves and what they were designed to discover about the Solar System and distant stars. Exactly how these telescopes were built and launched and the data they provided is explored. Only certain kinds of radiation can penetrate our planet's atmosphere, which limits what we can observe. But with space telescopes all this changed. We now have the means to "see" beyond Earth using ultraviolet, microwave, and infrared rays, X-rays and gamma rays. In this book we meet the pioneers and the telescopes that were built around their ideas. This book looks at space telescopes not simply chronologically but also in order of the electromagnetic spectrum, making it possible to understand better why they were made.



A Is the Universe a Hologram

A Is the Universe a Hologram Author Adolfo Plasencia
ISBN-10 9780262339315
Release 2017-05-04
Pages 432
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Science today is more a process of collaboration than moments of individual "eurekas." This book recreates that kind of synergy by offering a series of interconnected dialogues with leading scientists who are asked to reflect on key questions and concepts about the physical world, technology, and the mind. These thinkers offer both specific observations and broader comments about the intellectual traditions that inform these questions; doing so, they reveal a rich seam of interacting ideas. The persistent paradox of our era is that in a world of unprecedented access to information, many of the most important questions remain unsolved. These conversations (conducted by a veteran science writer, Adolfo Plasencia) reflect this, with scientists addressing such issues as intelligence, consciousness, global warming, energy, technology, matter, the possibility of another earth, changing the past, and even the philosophical curveball, "is the universe a hologram?"The dialogues discuss such fascinating aspects of the physical world as the function of the quantum bit, the primordial cosmology of the universe, and the wisdom of hewn stones. They offer optimistic but reasoned views of technology, considering convergence culture, algorithms, "Beauty ? Truth," the hacker ethic, AI, and other topics. And they offer perspectives from a range of disciplines on intelligence, discussing subjects that include the neurophysiology of the brain, affective computing, collaborative innovation, and the wisdom of crowds.Conversations with Hal Abelson, Ricardo Baeza-Yates, John Perry Barlow, Javier Benedicto, José Bernabéu, Michail Bletsas, Jose M. Carmena, David Casacuberta, Yung Ho Chang, Ignacio Cirac, Gianluigi Colalucci, Avelino Corma, Bernardo Cuenca Grau, Javier Echeverria, José Hernández-Orallo, Hiroshi Ishii, Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, Henry Jenkins, Anne Margulies, Mario J. Molina, Tim O'Reilly, John Ochsendorf, Paul Osterman, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Rosalind W. Picard, Howard Rheingold, Alejandro W. Rodriguez, Israel Ruiz, Sara Seager, Richard Stallman, Antonio Torralba, Bebo White, José María Yturralde



New Space Frontiers

New Space Frontiers Author Piers Bizony
ISBN-10 9780760346662
Release 2014-10-15
Pages 176
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An optimistic look at space travel not only showcases the groundbreaking technology of today but also speculates on what lies beyond today's hardware, in a book that looks at both governmental and commercial strategies for space exploration and where in the universe they may lead humans in the future.



Unit Operations

Unit Operations Author Ian Bogost
ISBN-10 9780262261890
Release 2008-01-25
Pages 264
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In Unit Operations, Ian Bogost argues that similar principles underlie both literary theory and computation, proposing a literary-technical theory that can be used to analyze particular videogames. Moreover, this approach can be applied beyond videogames: Bogost suggests that any medium -- from videogames to poetry, literature, cinema, or art -- can be read as a configurative system of discrete, interlocking units of meaning, and he illustrates this method of analysis with examples from all these fields. The marriage of literary theory and information technology, he argues, will help humanists take technology more seriously and hep technologists better understand software and videogames as cultural artifacts. This approach is especially useful for the comparative analysis of digital and nondigital artifacts and allows scholars from other fields who are interested in studying videogames to avoid the esoteric isolation of "game studies."The richness of Bogost's comparative approach can be seen in his discussions of works by such philosophers and theorists as Plato, Badiou, Zizek, and McLuhan, and in his analysis of numerous videogames including Pong, Half-Life, and Star Wars Galaxies. Bogost draws on object technology and complex adaptive systems theory for his method of unit analysis, underscoring the configurative aspects of a wide variety of human processes. His extended analysis of freedom in large virtual spaces examines Grand Theft Auto 3, The Legend of Zelda, Flaubert's Madame Bovary, and Joyce's Ulysses. In Unit Operations, Bogost not only offers a new methodology for videogame criticism but argues for the possibility of real collaboration between the humanities and information technology.



Chandra s Cosmos

Chandra s Cosmos Author Wallace H. Tucker
ISBN-10 9781588345875
Release 2017
Pages 266
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On July 23, 1999, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the most powerful X-ray telescope ever built, was launched aboard the space shuttle Columbia. Since then, Chandra has given us a view of the universe that is largely hidden from telescopes sensitive only to visible light. In Chandra's Cosmos, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Chandra science spokesperson Wallace H. Tucker uses a series of short, connected stories to describe the telescope's exploration of the hot, high-energy face of the universe. The book is organized in three parts- "The Big," covering the cosmic web, dark energy, dark matter, and massive clusters of galaxies; "The Bad," exploring neutron stars, stellar black holes, and supermassive black holes; and "The Beautiful," discussing stars, exoplanets, and life. Chandra has imaged the spectacular, glowing remains of exploded stars and taken spectra showing the dispersal of their elements. Chandra has observed the region around the supermassive black hole in the center of our Milky Way and traced the separation of dark matter from normal matter in the collision of galaxies, contributing to both dark matter and dark energy studies. Tucker explores the implications of these observations in an entertaining, informative narrative aimed at space buffs and general readers alike.



Why Democracies Need Science

Why Democracies Need Science Author Harry Collins
ISBN-10 9781509509645
Release 2017-03-27
Pages 200
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We live in times of increasing public distrust of the main institutions of modern society. Experts, including scientists, are suspected of working to hidden agendas or serving vested interests. The solution is usually seen as more public scrutiny and more control by democratic institutions – experts must be subservient to social and political life. In this book, Harry Collins and Robert Evans take a radically different view. They argue that, rather than democracies needing to be protected from science, democratic societies need to learn how to value science in this new age of uncertainty. By emphasizing that science is a moral enterprise, guided by values that should matter to all, they show how science can support democracy without destroying it and propose a new institution – The Owls – that can mediate between science and society and improve technological decision-making for the benefit of all.