November 5, 2021

The irresistible attraction of gravity

A new book by FIAS Senior Fellow Luciano Rezzolla.

In his new book, Luciano Rezzolla takes us on a voyage of discovery to black holes. In doing so, he manages to reach readers of all knowledge levels and to draw a fascinating arc from the basic principles of gravity to the modern research results of relativistic astrophysics. The popular science book is published in German by C. H. Beck, the English version by Cambridge University Press is available since March 2023.

About the book:

The irresistible pull of gravity extends far beyond our planet - to the mysterious phenomenon of black holes. Luciano Rezzolla, an astrophysicist researching and teaching in Germany, is among the first to have succeeded in creating photographic images of a supermassive black hole. In this book, he takes us on a journey to the deepest mysteries of the cosmos to explore the phenomenon of gravity, which is as amazing as it is puzzling.

Why does an apple fall from a tree instead of floating off into space? In school, we were taught that gravity is the force that holds us, as well as things on the surface of our planet, as it rotates around itself and around the sun. But our bodies are familiar with gravity long before that, as evidenced by the cling reflex with which the newborn infant responds to a potential threat. Over the years, we learn to deal with gravity and sometimes dream of overcoming it. But its irresistible attraction extends far beyond our planet - to the mysterious phenomenon of black holes, which generate tremendous gravity in their environment. How is it possible to photograph them, when by definition they capture all the light that strikes them? With common sense, talent for entertainment and such enormous knowledge as passion, Luciano Rezzolla accompanies us in the discovery of one of the deepest mysteries of the cosmos. Step by step, under his guidance, we approach the truth about a phenomenon that not only our bodies but also our curiosity cannot resist.  

Further information:

The book first appeared in Italian in 2020, was published as a German version in November 2021 and presented in an English edition in March 2023 (information supplemented 2023).

ISBN: 9781009198776

English version published March 2023

269 p., with 38 black and white illustrations and 16 illustrations in color

more information

Cover: Die unwiderstehliche Anziehung der Schwerkraft