1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Black Holes Explained  By  cover art

Black Holes Explained

By: Alex Filippenko,The Great Courses
Narrated by: Alex Filippenko
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $14.95

Buy for $14.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

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
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    143
  • 4 Stars
    41
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    123
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    124
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Too many visual references

Several parts of the “book” make reference to images and videos that aren’t made available here. Definitely would have benefitted more from the a/v version of this course.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

good listen

if you have an interest universe's mysteries , this is a good listen, I would recommend!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

good introductory material

it has good information if you are looking for a high level fun intro to black holes. the only things that show its age are the mentions of future experiments that have now published results. I'm listening in July 2022. it has been 10 yeas since it discovered the Higgs and not much else. the LIGO team found its first gravity wave confirmation in 2015. indeed they are using the sound profile to understand the nature of black holes. they still seem to have no hair.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Dated now but good historical and background info

Like the others noted, this originally came out in 2009 and while there has obviously been a lot of discovery since then that doesn't make the course irrelevant. Much of the basic information is just as solid today as then. Filippenko is an enthusiastic and engaging speaker, although at times for me his attempts at humor drag on too long.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This Guy is a Dork, and I Absolutely Love It!

He's my favorite kind of professor. Knowledgeable and absolutely passionate about his topic. Brilliant work!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Wren
  • Wren
  • 07-16-22

Not for audio!

As others have said, this course is heavily reliant on visual material, there are whole episodes 'watching' animations and too many 'as you can see here'... so not a course for audio. The included pdf doesn't help much, it doesn't include any of the visual material referred to in the lectures.
Sadly, I also find the presenter's manner to be irritating as he is constantly trying to be 'funny' and laughing at his own 'jokes for 5 year olds'.

I usually really enjoy the great course lectures, but this one just doesn't work as audio.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anna Loznevaia
  • Anna Loznevaia
  • 06-06-22

great topic but not adapted for audiobook format

the course is heavily dependent on visual aids which renders listening not really that enjoyable. But lecturer is great and I love the topic.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paavo Pohjantuli
  • Paavo Pohjantuli
  • 02-25-22

Pretty basic stuff

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kal
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Snake4eva
  • 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.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lauren C.
  • 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