Gravity’s Lens: Views of the New Cosmology. Nathan Cohen. Wiley.

Gravity's Lens: Views of the New Cosmology Book Cover Gravity's Lens: Views of the New Cosmology
Nathan Cohen
July 11, 1988

Incredible advances in astronomy have occurred over the last few years, breakthroughs that were once beyond our wildest comprehension. These new discoveries have taught scientists much about our universe – from its earliest moments to its final destiny. Gravity’s Lens is a dynamic, accessible, and engaging guide to the cosmos and these remarkable new findings that are changing our entire perspective of the universe.

A strange circular photograph on the front cover is just one of the many intriguing cosmic phenomena which physicist Nathan Cohen examines in detail. The photograph reveals a bizarre cosmic mirage formed from a gravitational lens effect. The simulated black hole has doubled and magnified the light coming from the cluster of galaxies in the background, demonstrating its curious gravitational bending power. Featuring numerous rare photographs such as this, and filled with innovative new diagrams, Gravity’s Lens offers a panoramic look at the celestial wonders of our universe.

Providing a complete history of cosmology, Gravity’s Lens details the work of Galileo, Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, Harlow Shapely, and many others. From the discovery of galaxies and universe’s expansion, to the Big Bang theory and quasars, Nathan Cohen recounts with breathless wonder how our understanding has developed over the years.

But the biggest surprises are certainly the most recent. Along with strange cosmic mirages, Gravity’s Lens tells the tale of numerous other oddities, such as cosmic voids and bubbles, cosmic background radiation, invisible matter, cosmic strings, black holes, galactic jets, streaming, and much more. New hypotheses are also discussed, which have led theorists to reconsider how the universe was first formed. The latest one concludes that the cosmos started from a vacuum, expanding from a minute point in space to the size of a balloon, all within a fraction of a second, and that it contains 10 dimensions and harbors clone universes which never came into contact with each other.

Touching upon all the latest discoveries, and relating important historical findings, Gravity’s Lens reveals what a fascinating puzzle our universe really is, and how the science of cosmology seeks to unravel all its mysteries.

Nathan Cohen, PhD, is a professor and tutor at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. He is widely known for his research in radio astronomy and astrophysics, as well as biophysics and the history of science. He is one of the pioneers in observing the gravitational lens effect and continues this and other astronomy research into the present day. A science writer and reviewer for magazines such as Astronomy and Sky and Telescope, he upholds the science writing tradition of Cornell University’s Astronomy Department, where he obtained his doctorate. Gravity’s Lens is his first book.