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Publisher's Summary

Imagine a region in space where the force of gravity is so strong that nothing - not even light - can escape. A region with physical conditions so extreme that they have not yet been reproduced in any terrestrial laboratory. A region so dense that an object as tiny as a walnut would have the same mass as our entire planet. This phenomenon is a black hole: one of the most exotic, mind-boggling, and profound subjects in astrophysics. Nearly everyone has heard of black holes, but few people outside of complex scientific fields understand their true nature and their implications for our universe. 

No movie, novel, or other fictional treatment of black holes matches Professor Filippenko’s absorbing presentation of the actual science behind these amazing objects. Black holes are at the heart of some of the most intriguing phenomena in the universe. Not only that, they are ideal gateways to fundamental and cutting-edge concepts in astronomy. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2009 The Great Courses (P)2009 The Teaching Company, LLC

What listeners say about Black Holes Explained

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good introduction, a bit dated

I was familiar with most of the material presented, but overall it's a good presentation of the topic, with many tidbits I wasn't familiar with.

It was prepared before LIGO detected gravitational waves, so it lacks the rich insights provided by that team over the past few years. It also predates discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC, so that conversation is also dated.

The other challenge with this presentation is that he is regularly describing visual aids that he is using in the class. Fortunately, his descriptions are detailed enough that he conveys the main points, but it is frustrating at times. There is a detailed .pdf available at audible, but it doesn't contain all of these visuals either.

Still, this was an enjoyable presentation that I enjoyed and learned from.

12 people found this helpful

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Based on material from 2009

Although this was released on audible on 03-11-19, it is based on material from 2009, and is thus out of date with regard to discovery of the Higgs boson and gravitational waves. Overall good, but I think these two discoveries are important to the overall topic of the lectures.

19 people found this helpful

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publication date is misleading

LIGO has observed gravitational waves, the Higgs boson has been discovered, and Hawking has passed. The date on this lectured leads one to believe that it's published in 2019, which I guess it was, but it's clear from the lectures that it was recorded years prior. I guess I missed seeing the copyright date is 2009. Please be aware if you're looking for the latest knowledge on the physics of black holes.

4 people found this helpful

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Referring to too many visualization which cannot be seen in Audiobook

Don’t understand why they made it an Audiobook
The professor keeps referring to demonstrations, videos and animations which you cannot see!
Disappointing

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Black Holes Explained

This book was not very good in my opinion. I was expecting more depth into what we know about Black Holes.

1 person found this helpful

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An entertaining and informative read

This was easy to !listen too. A lot of information about black holes and the cosmos from a unique perspective.

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Nice audio book on Black Holes

Black Holes Explained by Prof. Alex Filippenko and also narrated by Prof. Alex Filippenko is wonderful audio book explaining black holes and some of the myths around black holes which we may assume reading, listening or watching science fiction.

It is so far the most detailed narration I have ever heard about black holes. It is indeed very interesting and quite informative audio book. People with Physics, Astro-Physics, Astronomy or similar backgrounds would probably love very much. In my case, however, it's been over 15 years that I last studied Physics academically so quite some information was just above me. :) However, I still enjoyed the audio book and my understanding about black holes have certainly improved and I did find answers to some of the questions I had about black holes like can we travel to the black holes or what happens to the information in black holes and more.

Also, though Audible shows that this audio book was released on Mar 11, 2019, it was probably finished/recorded/released around 2009-2010, evident from Prof. Alex mentioning about Stephen Hawking. There might probably be quite a few updates, small or significant, new discoveries and inventions from 2009 to now and it would have been even better if some of the interesting updates were added at the end. Nonetheless, this is still an interesting audio book.

It is definitely worth a listen and probably more than one time listen for those who are interested in better understanding the black holes. Though, I wish the black holes jokes by the professor were a little more humorous. :) Overall, it has increased my interest in astronomy so I will probably listen to other interesting astronomy related audio books in the future.

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Highly visual course

I really like Alex’s energy and enthusiasm. However this course is highly visual and I was constantly looking things up to keep up with his lectures. Not a good course to just listen to.

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Enjoyable

Already out of date but extremely entertaining and a good base for future education. Great.

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Inane drivel.

He fancies himself some kind of comedian. Its ok if you're 5 years old, don't listen to this in earshot of anyone over the age of twelve, you'll be embarrassed.

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  • Paavo Pohjantuli
  • 02-25-22

Pretty basic stuff

Nothing advanced, also didnt like the style of narrator. Dont like joking etc in lecturing audiobooks

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kal
  • 02-16-22

Great Lecture Shame nNo Visuals

Overall it is a great series of lectures. However, a lot of references to what is being shown and played and obviously one cannot see it all, so a lot of it is lost completely.

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  • Snake4eva
  • 02-10-22

Black Hole Mystery

Alex Filippenko's passion for physics makes the lectures enjoyable, great job and i'm looking forward to more content like this.

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  • Lauren C.
  • 01-08-22

Fantastic introduction to black holes

Very well explained and interesting, well structured and comes with a pdf to read any visual items