Gravity’s shadow

Ordering a book online is always an excellent excuse to order another one in the same pack, on the basis of amortizing the packing and sending expenses. Thus, Rovelli’s book came with good company: Harry Collins’ “Gravity’s Shadow : The Search for Gravitational Waves”, an awesome history of the search for gravitational waves from Weber to LIGO. Interestingly, it’s written by a sociologist, but a well-informed one: Collins has spent the last 30 years among physicists, so i expect he got the science right. Of course, by awesome, i mean that it looks awesome, since i haven’t read it yet (albeit it’s been inserted near the top of my growing reading queue). But i’m confident it will live up my expectations, specially after reading Lee Smolin’s opinion on it. One can also read some chapters available at the book’s site.
Weber and his detectorBy the way, you don’t need to be an expert to read this book, only have an interest in gravitational waves and/or the sociology of science serious enough to swallow around 900 pages. Unfortunately, i’m not aware of any other popularization on gravitational wave physics, but you can read this little introduction from ESA’s site (with links to the projects i work on, LISA and LISA Pathfinder) as a quick start, take a brief yet nice course at Caltech, read about them in the BBC, visit a museum, learn about the strong (albeit indirect) evidence on their behalf, bet on their discovery, or participate in it via Einstein@Home (the site also contains useful information about what GW are and how we try to detect them). You can also get a little more serious and go for this living review of GW detection or follow Kip Thorne’s course on Gravitational Waves (videos of the lectures included).

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