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Download The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics Audiobook, by Leonard Susskind Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 5 3.60 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Leonard Susskind Narrator: Ray Porter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2008 ISBN: 9781455190720
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This is the inside account of the battle over the true nature of black holes—with nothing less than our understanding of the entire universe at stake.

What happens when something is sucked into a black hole? Does it disappear? Three decades ago, a young physicist named Stephen Hawking claimed that it did—and in doing so, put at risk everything we know about the fundamental laws of the universe. Leonard Susskind and Gerard ’t Hooft realized the threat and responded with a counterattack that changed the course of physics. The Black Hole War is the thrilling story of their united effort to reconcile Hawking’s theories of black holes with their own sense of reality, an effort that would eventually result in Hawking admitting he was wrong and Susskind and ’t Hooft realizing that our world is a hologram projected from the outer boundaries of space. A brilliant book about the deepest mysteries of modern physics, The Black Hole War is mind-bending and exhilarating reading.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “As good an introduction as you’re going to find to the strange world of black hole astrophysics. Add that to the chance to ride along as real scientists resolve a fundamental issue and you have the makings of a great read.”

    Washington Post

  • “In a remarkable skilled reading, Ray Porter goes beyond Susskind’s mostly deft, engaging, and (reasonably) comprehensive writing to add energy and nuance to passages that could have been dry, and to render the sometimes very challenging material with admirable clarity. Porter adds proper—even illuminating—emphasis and intonation to passages a layman could hardly be expected to understand, never mind express correctly. This is a resourceful, intelligent reading of a fine book.”

    AudioFile

  • “An interesting view of today’s physics as it moves into ever more abstract areas. Writing for the general public, Susskind…uses a relaxed and often humorous style of presentation.”

    Library Journal

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Winner of the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science & Technology
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tania | 2/14/2014

    " This is not the right book to listen to on audio. It is very technical - most of the book is taken up with getting the reader up to speed so that he can even understand what the black hole war was about. Good book if you want exposure to the basic concepts of quantum theory, elementary particle physics, and quantum gravity without math being involved. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark Coffey | 2/10/2014

    " A bit too far out there for me...love popularized science, but never conceptually wrapped myself around this one... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Glenport | 1/24/2014

    " This guy is a jackass. I don't really like either side of the argument described within. Sorry. Physics slam. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 1/23/2014

    " Overall the book was very entertaining and easy to read. The author tended to jump around quite a bit from chapter to chapter, even within a chapter, but even with that the book flowed pretty well. In addition to some fascinating scientific insights the book had a very personal touch. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara Holland | 1/17/2014

    " I found this book to be very readable even though the subject is vast. I was intrigued with the concept that no information is ever lost in the universe -- not even in a black hole. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J.P. Leibundguth | 1/16/2014

    " Great introduction to the 30yr Hawking / Susskind debate over information & entropy in theoretical physics concerning black holes, elementary physics, string theory, chromodynamics, the holographic principle and other tools used to win the war. Very accessible to both non-technical and technical readers with great examples, thought exercises, and accessible explanations. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Patty | 1/15/2014

    " I read this one night when I could not sleep and found the juxtaposition between the cutesy "Physicists are People, too!" stories and the more serious scientific sections jarring and not very appealing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Thom | 1/1/2014

    " A trip through modern particle physics. I love that the math of string theory works so well here, but I hate that it just doesn't seem to describe the real world. Cognitive dissonance! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin | 12/23/2013

    " I learned that i'm not as smart as i thought... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ron | 12/20/2013

    " Best book I've read bringing relativity, quantum mechanics and all areas of modern physics together in a readable and nearly understandable format: the battle with Stephen Hawking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jef | 12/15/2013

    " Wow! Holographic principle is real! Black hole event horizons are stranger than I thought. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jimmy Ng | 12/11/2013

    " I've always loved black holes. Susskind will articulate information about them most of the general population has no clue about in a very clear and friendly way for people that do not have a strong science background. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 10/27/2013

    " String theory! I don't buy it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 BAKU | 10/2/2012

    " I had no idea that Feynman diagrams were magnifiable ( he doesn't use the term ' fractal ' but that's what they are ) ... ! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen | 9/25/2012

    " Susskind is a master at life, and physics, this book makes accessible very deep connections between reality and everyday life to people who don't have PhDs in physics. Very entertaining and thought provoking. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Quinn | 11/26/2011

    " Hmm. I wouldn't suggest it for any one who had not taken a physics course in college. Pretty big concepts I probably should of had Wikipedia open the whole time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nathan | 5/9/2011

    " It's a little out-dated being written in the 90's, but very fascinating never the less. The book is written so that a guy like me could understand it. It's a good one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samuel Boland | 5/9/2011

    " This book successfully focused on the who and how of science without cheating us out of the scientific portions, which was great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashton | 2/8/2011

    " So far I am really enjoying this book! It is very understandable (well, as far as I can understand it) and well written for the layman. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ray | 1/23/2011

    " A bit heavy going but the author really did a very good job of explaining unintuitive concepts. Thoroughly enjoyed the book but don't ask me to reproduce the explanations! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Quinn | 1/18/2011

    " Hmm. I wouldn't suggest it for any one who had not taken a physics course in college. Pretty big concepts I probably should of had Wikipedia open the whole time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joshua | 12/25/2010

    " Wouldn't have hurt to toss in a few more equations to help illuminate the holographic principal, but that's always the problem with bringing hard science to the masses... great read nonetheless. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Montez | 12/14/2010

    " Leonard Susskind is a extremely intelligent person who can relate complex ideas so the layman can make sense. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 11/10/2010

    " i loved this book. Gives you a good peak into the world of advanced physics and the geniuses that deal with it daily "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Glenport | 11/2/2010

    " This guy is a jackass. I don't really like either side of the argument described within. Sorry. Physics slam. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 10/10/2010

    " Interesting and amazingly understandable for a non-science type. My husband, a science type, thought it was great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jimmy | 10/2/2010

    " I've always loved black holes. Susskind will articulate information about them most of the general population has no clue about in a very clear and friendly way for people that do not have a strong science background. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jake | 6/26/2010

    " It's a good thing this guy is real good at contemplating the mysteries of the universe and whatnot 'cause he's a lousy storyteller, and even worse at making up physics-metaphors-for-dummies. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew | 5/30/2010

    " Interesting read. It's been a while since I've read a science book with some brand new ideas I've never run into before in it. The holographic principle certainly qualifies. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marc | 3/30/2010

    " One of the more enjoyable books on this topic, quantum mechanics and such. Enjoyable in large part for the personality plays at work with the big brains calculating the number of angels on a pin. May not be everyone's cup of tea though. "

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About the Author
Author Leonard Susskind

Leonard Susskind is the Felix Bloch professor of theoretical physics at Stanford University. The author of The Cosmic Landscape, he is a member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of numerous prizes, including the science writing prize of the American Institute of Physics for his article in Scientific Americanon black holes.

About the Narrator

Ray Porter has garnered fourteen Earphones Awards, two Audie nominations, and a multitude of enthusiastic reviews for his sparkling narration of audiobooks. He has also appeared in numerous films and television shows, including Frasier, ER, Will & Grace, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Almost Famous. He has most recently received Audible’s Narrator of the Year Award. He is a fifteen-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.