An award-winning science writer plumbs the depths of the greatest mystery in physics, showing how gravity has shaped our universe, minds, and cultures, and tracing our millennia-long efforts to unravel its secrets—from Aristotelian philosophy to Newton’s apple to the recent, groundbreaking observation of ripples in the fabric of space-time.
What is gravity? Nobody knows—and just about nobody knows that nobody knows. How something so pervasive can also be so mysterious, and how that mystery can be so wholly unrecognized outside the field of physics, is one of the greatest conundrums in modern science. But as award-winning author Richard Panek shows in this groundbreaking, mind-bending book, gravity is a cold case that’s beginning to heat up.
InThe Trouble with Gravity, Panek invites the reader to experience this ubiquitous yet elusive force in a breathtakingly new way. In the process, he opens up untold vistas onto the universe and humanity’s place in it. Gravity, Panek explains, structures not only our bodies and our physical world, but also our minds and culture. From our very beginnings, humans’ conceptions of gravity have been inextricably bound to our understanding of existence itself. Thus as we get closer and closerto solving the riddle of gravity, it is not only physics that is becoming clearer. We are also getting to know ourselves as never before.
A Guggenheim Fellow in science writing, RICHARD PANEK is the author of The 4% Universe, which won the American Institute of Physics communication award. He is also the coauthor, with Temple Grandin, of the New York Times bestseller The Autistic Brain.