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      Black Holes: An Introductory Resource List  
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Black Holes: An Introductory Resource List


5. Books and Articles on Super-massive Black Holes in General

Barger, A. "The Midlife Crisis of the Cosmos" in Scientific American, Jan. 2005, p. 46. On how our time differs from the early universe in terms of what galaxies are doing, and what role supermassive black holes play.

Bartusiak, M. "A Beast in the Core" in Astronomy, July 1998, p. 42. Nice discussion of giant black holes being uncovered at the centers of galaxies.

Ford, H. & Tsvetanov, Z. "Massive Black Holes at the Hearts of Galaxies" in Sky & Telescope, June 1996, p. 28. Nice overview.

Irion, Robert "A Quasar in Every Galaxy?" in Sky & Telescope, July 2006, p. 40. Discusses how supermassive black holes powering the centers of galaxies may be more common than thought.

Miller, M., et al. "Supermassive Black Holes: Shaping their Surroundings" in Sky & Telescope, Apr. 2005, p. 42. Jets from black hole disks.

Nadis, Steve "Here, There, and Everywhere" in Astronomy, Feb. 2001, p. 34. On Hubble observations showing how common supermassive black holes are in galaxies.

Olson, S. "Black Hole Hunters" in Astronomy, May 1999, p. 48. Profiles of four astronomers who search for "hungry" black holes at the centers of active galaxies.

Rees, M. "Black Holes in Galactic Centers" in Scientific American, Nov. 1990, p. 56. One of the astronomers most involved in explaining how giant black holes can form and power active galaxies explains the key ideas in the field.

Tucker, W., et al. "Black Hole Blowback" in Scientific American, Mar. 07, p. 42. How supermassive black holes create giant bubbles in the intergalactic medium.

Voit, G. "The Rise and Fall of Quasars" in Sky & Telescope, May 1999, p. 40. Explains the behavior of quasars in terms of the supermassive black holes that are thought to be the power source.

Wanjek, Christopher "How Black Holes Helped Build the Universe" in Sky & Telescope, Jan. 2007, p. 42. On the energy and outflow from disks around supermassive black holes; nice introduction.

Weaver, K. "The Galactic Odd Couple" in Scientific American, Jul. 2003, p. 34. Why bursts of star formation and massive central black holes are seen to go together in galaxies. On the web at:

Zimmerman, Robert "Cosmic Cataclysms: When Giant Black Holes Collide" in Sky & Telescope, Apr. 2009, p. 26. On supermassive black hole mergers.

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6. A Few Readings on the Life and Work of Stephen Hawking

Ferguson, K. Stephen Hawking: Quest for A Theory of Everything: The Story of His Life and His Work. 1991, Bantam. Biographical, but with some science.

Ferguson, K. "Devouring the Future" in Astronomy, Dec. 1998, p. 64. Quick intro to his life and work, with an update on what he is doing recently.

Folger, Tim "Return of the Invisible Man: Stephen Hawking" in Discover, Jul/Aug. 2009, p. 42. Summary of his life and work, plus his recent thinking.

Hawking, S. A Brief History of Time. 1988, Bantam. Some parts of this best-seller are a bit more difficult than its sales might make you believe. (The book now exists in several versions -- some annotated -- and has spin-off readers' guides, videos, etc.) Also see his Black Holes and Baby Universes (1993, Bantam) for further thoughts and elaborations.

Hawking, S. "The Quantum Mechanics of Black Holes" in Scientific American, Jan. 1977. (Now dated, but a classic expression of the ideas that Hawking pioneered.)

White, M. & Gribbin, J. Stephen Hawking: A Life in Science. 1992, Dutton. Both a biography and a non-technical explanation of his work.

Quantum Black Holes

Carr, B. & Giddings, S. "Quantum Black Holes" in Scientific American, May 2005, p. 48. Mini black holes -- how to make them and what we can learn from them. On the web at:

Folger, R. "The Ultimate Vanishing" in Discover, Oct. 1993, p. 98. On quantum mechanics and black holes.

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