Light in the Darkness: Black Holes, the Universe, and Us

HEINO FALCKE WITH JÖRG RÖMER

LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

BONUS MATERIAL | ONLINE ANNEX

 

»Light in the Darkness« describes mankind’s adventurous journey through space and time: From the first humans looking up at the night sky to modern astrophysics, from the study of black holes to the still-unsolved mysteries of the universe and far beyond. Told from the perspective of Heino Falcke, one of the world’s leading astronomers, who personally witnessed and was instrumental in shaping the exciting expedition to the first image of a black hole.

Falcke asks, in even the greatest triumphs of science, is there room for doubts, faith, and a God? A plea for curiosity and humility, Light in the Darkness sees one of the great minds shaping the world today as he ponders the big, pressing questions that present themselves when we look up at the stars.

Indiebound

Astrophysicist and author

Heino Falcke

Professor Heino Falcke is an astrophysicist investigating the depths of the sky. He uses a network of telescopes spanning the entire planet to look for black holes and a lunar telescope to find the Big Bang. He believes in divine reason and in a reasonable God. Often, silly questions are his best answers. He is blessed with a mix of Rhineland humour and Prussian stubbornness. Falcke holds a professorship at the Radboud University in Nijmegen and is guest professor at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn. His scientific achievements earned him knightly accolades from the Dutch King. 

Licht im Dunkeln

LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS. BLACK HOLES, THE UNIVERSE, AND US

 

This moment is a worldwide sensation: millions of people watch as the German radio astronomer Heino Falcke presents the first ever image of a black hole to the public on April 10, 2019. It has already become iconic, standing alongside “Blue Marble,” the photograph of the Earth taken in orbit by Apollo 17 in 1972. Heino Falcke is one of the leading scientists in the international team running the Event Horizon Telescope. The group managed the feat of imaging the black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy. In order to capture the first-ever picture of a black hole, radio telescopes all around the globe were linked together—the project was Falcke’s idea. When, after years of work, he was finally able to set eyes on the black hole for the first time, it was like sharing a first kiss with his beloved one after a long courtship. In his book, he not only writes about the spectacular image, but also explains how even top researchers like himself come to the limit of their understanding. 

Based on his research on black holes, Falcke thinks that physics is on the verge of a paradigm shift. “We are entering into our last great battle to tackle the big questions surrounding space and time. If the last century was the age of particle physics, now the century of spacetime physics is dawning.” Spacetime is the great theater in which the whole drama of our universe plays outa drama that is fundamental and yet still mysterious and little understood. Spacetime is not a static backdrop, but rather an actor in the play: it crumples and twists in a way that seems to contradict everything we think we know. Still, what just a short time ago seemed to be fantasy, we can now see with our own eyes, and our vision will be getting ever sharper. Will Einstein’s theory of relativity stand up to this keen gaze? Will quantum theory provide new answers for the future? Will we be able to know everything in the future?  

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30.6.2021 ONLINE EVENT

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JIM JANSEN, Editor-in-chief, NEW SCIENTIST NL

“To me, Heino Falcke is the man of the year 2019. The picture of the black hole in the M87 galaxy, he and his team took, has already become an iconic image. In addition to being a fantastic scientist, Falcke is also a gifted storyteller.”

Licht im Dunkeln
Licht im Dunkeln
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Licht in de Duisternis
La Luz en la Oscuridad
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Light in the Darkness
Light in the Darkness

LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

BONUS MATERIAL

LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

ONLINE ANNEX