• Gravity's Century

  • From Einstein's Eclipse to Images of Black Holes
  • By: Ron Cowen
  • Narrated by: John Patrick Walsh
  • Length: 4 hrs and 57 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (342 ratings)

Try our newest plan – access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Plus plan is $7.95 a month after 30 day trial. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Buy for $18.16

Buy for $18.16

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

A sweeping account of the century of experimentation that confirmed Einstein's general theory of relativity, bringing to life the science and scientists at the origins of relativity, the development of radio telescopes, the discovery of black holes and quasars, and the still unresolved place of gravity in quantum theory. 

Albert Einstein did nothing of note on May 29, 1919; yet that is when he became immortal. On that day, astronomer Arthur Eddington and his team observed a solar eclipse and found something extraordinary: gravity bends light, just as Einstein predicted. The findings confirmed the theory of general relativity, fundamentally changing our understanding of space and time. 

A century later, another group of astronomers is performing a similar experiment on a much larger scale. The Event Horizon Telescope, a globe-spanning array of radio dishes, is examining space surrounding Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. As Ron Cowen recounts, one foremost goal of the experiment is to determine whether Einstein was right on the details. Gravity lies at the heart of what we don't know about quantum mechanics, but tantalizing possibilities for deeper insight are offered by black holes. By observing starlight wrapping around Sagittarius A*, the telescope will not only provide the first direct view of an event horizon - a black hole's point of no return - but will also enable scientists to test Einstein's theory under the most extreme conditions. 

Gravity's Century shows how we got from the pivotal observations of the 1919 eclipse to the Event Horizon Telescope, and what is at stake today. Breaking down the physics in clear and approachable language, Cowen makes vivid how the quest to understand gravity is really the quest to comprehend the universe. 

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

©2019 Ron Cowen (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Gravity's Century

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    220
  • 4 Stars
    96
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    204
  • 4 Stars
    76
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    183
  • 4 Stars
    87
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

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

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

Good stuff

Great book, well read. Definitely worth it if you're into physics, particularly as it pertains to gravity and Einstein's work.

5 people found this helpful

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

incredible story!

This book gave a much better understanding of the science, math, and history behind relativity, and quantum mechanics. Good job!

4 people found this helpful

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

gravity waves

if you ever wanted to know more about gravity waves , this is the book for you. It goes into lots of detail that Ordinary People can understand.

3 people found this helpful

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

Excellent!

This is a very well-written book made even more enjoyable by an excellent narrator! Narration skills are so important. if the book is not narrated well, it can destroy an audible book. I hope the narrator continues to narrate science books.

1 person found this helpful

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

Great story telling but slightly disjointed

This is a great story of scientific pursuit for greater understanding of what gravity is. It is actually great many fascinating stories, intersecting time and space. However, the stories are slightly fragmented and on many occasions repeated, overall giving an impression of a disjointed whole. Moreover, the book inexplicably ends, suddenly, almost in half sentence.

1 person found this helpful

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

A layperson's Comment

Not a book for the impatient reader/listener. Rather amazed at this ever evolving, abstruse subject and the amount of astronomical dart throwing by so many experts. At least we can taste the complexities while the articulate book narrator leads our curiosity all the way into a black hole, providing an ending.
The narrator eased my dread from start to finish. Thanks.

1 person found this helpful

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

understandable and entertaining

The author does a good job of making a material a digestible. It was a little bit annoying when equations were being red because it's easier to see equations than hear them but all in all the book was a very enlightening read.

1 person found this helpful

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

This is a great listen for the causal lovers of universal physics!

I’ve been reading quite a few different viewpoints of the same material, and so far this has been the best of the lot.

The flow of speaker adds incredible value to the information this book shares.

I’m going to listen to it again two - three times this summer just so I can capture more ideas from it.

Highly recommended!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cb
  • 06-24-21

The speed of light remains constant...

The speed of light remains constant, time and space are the variables.
If your interested in physics give this a listen.

1 person found this helpful

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

I don't know what to say

I didn't pay attention at all. I don't know if it's because of the monotonous narrator or because of lot of equations, but I couldn't focus. I have read and listened several books about Einstein, relativity and science where I was so into it and many things stayed in my mind. But here, it was so unenjoyable. There was nothing interesting that would get my full attention. But maybe this book is more for real physicists that would appreciate it better.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kaelem
  • Kaelem
  • 06-20-22

Mind blowing

I do not pretend to understand much of he math in this reading but found it fascinating nonetheless.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MJ
  • MJ
  • 05-11-22

Well read

A highly entertaining and informative read about some very complex topics. Very well read by the reader, would love to hear more from him.

Physics undergrad.