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The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics Paperback – Jul 22 2009


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The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics + The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design + The Theoretical Minimum: What You Need to Know to Start Doing Physics
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Little Brown Trade Division; Reprint edition (July 22 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316016411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316016414
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 3.1 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 440 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Entertaining...both lucid and enjoyable...Like the best teachers, Susskind makes it fun to learn. With a deft use of analogy and a flair for language, he tames the most ferocious concepts...He has come up with the best visual metaphor for the multidimensinality of string theory that I've yet come across, one that alone is worth the price of the book - Los Angeles Times 'Susskind is very down to earth, an easy-going and entertaining guide through the most exciting frontiers of theoretical physics' #NAME?

About the Author

Leonard Susskind has been the Felix Bloch Professor in theoretical physics at Stanford University since 1978. The author ofThe Cosmic Landscape, he is a member of the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the recipient of numerous prizes including the science writing prize of the American Institute of Physics for hisScientific Americanarticle on black holes. He lives in Palo Alto, California.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G. Poirier TOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 31 2008
Format: Hardcover
There is a lot of physics contained in this excellent book - modern, cutting-edge theoretical physics, that is. In 24 chapters and almost 450 pages, the author guides the reader through a maze of seemingly contradictory scientific arguments in order to resolve an important issue in the physics of black holes: whether information is forever lost to the universe after it has passed through a black hole's horizon. In essence, this implies a type of reconciliation between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Although this involves very abstract and difficult-to-grasp concepts, the author, one of the main adversaries in this so-called black hole war, gently guides the reader through the various issues, starting from first principles right up to the cutting-edge subject at hand. The book is amply illustrated with many diagrams, drawings, figures and pictures in order to help further clarify the already-lucid descriptions that are given in the text. But, in addition to all the technical issues, the author has included much of the human element in this war. Interpersonal matters, many personal anecdotes, people's backgrounds and even the odd joke all contribute towards illustrating that the main theme of this book is a truly human endeavor: to understand a bit more about our universe. The writing style is clear, authoritative, friendly, even chatty and very engaging; the 450 pages fly by amazingly quickly. Although science buffs are likely to be those who will enjoy this book the most, the writing style is such that its contents are easily accessible to a much broader readership.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Goldsie on Aug. 21 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a must for anyone interested in Black Holes. It is superbly written and easy to understand. I have read a few different books on this subject and this is by far the best, brilliant.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really great book. A little on the layman side of things with overly simple examples so everyone can follow along. If you are a beginner with physics or don't have a strong math background, than this would be a great book for you. If you are more of an expert in the area than a lot of the information may seem redundant. It really is a good read regardless as the interplay between Susskind and Hawking, along with his partner t'Hooft was neat to follow. Highly recommend for blackhole fanatics!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian on Jan. 13 2012
Format: Hardcover
I used to enjoy popular science books by inspiring writers such as Hawking, Penrose, ans Kaku, so I had big hopes for Leonard Susskind's "Black Hole War". The book itself was pretty good, but there were few things I was not crazy about. The book introduces new concepts on a very fundamental level, I understand that book was aimed at very wide audience, but if someone needs explaining exponent notation, or how 2-dimensional space is different than 3-dimmensional space, probably will not get much out of the intricacies of information loss in black hole. Another thing that set this book apart from other popular science books, was the fact that the book is as much about physics as it is about Leonard Sussking himself. That would not be necessarily bad, if it wasn't for quite opinionated statements about other physicist, especially Stephen Hawking. It reads sometimes like if there was really a 'war', then hostilities were on one side only. Too bad, expected more.
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