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Cosmic Catastrophes Exploding Stars, Black Holes, and Mapping the Universe

ISBN-10: 0521857147
ISBN-13: 9780521857147
Edition: 2nd 2007 (Revised)
Authors: J. Craig Wheeler
List price: $60.00 Buy it from $35.33
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Description: From supernovae and gamma-ray bursts to the accelerating Universe, this is an exploration of the intellectual threads that lead to some of the most exciting ideas in modern astrophysics and cosmology. This fully updated second edition incorporates  More...

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Book details

List price: $60.00
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 1/4/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 358
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

From supernovae and gamma-ray bursts to the accelerating Universe, this is an exploration of the intellectual threads that lead to some of the most exciting ideas in modern astrophysics and cosmology. This fully updated second edition incorporates new material on binary stars, black holes, gamma-ray bursts, worm-holes, quantum gravity and string theory. It covers the origins of stars and their evolution, the mechanisms responsible for supernovae, and their progeny, neutron stars and black holes. It examines the theoretical ideas behind black holes and their manifestation in observational astronomy and presents neutron stars in all their variety known today. This book also covers the physics of the twentieth century, discussing quantum theory and Einstein's gravity, how these two theories collide, and the prospects for their reconciliation in the twenty-first century. This will be essential reading for undergraduate students in astronomy and astrophysics, and an excellent, accessible introduction for a wider audience.

Preface
Setting the stage: star formation and hydrogen burning in single stars
Introduction
Background
Evolution
Stellar death: the inexorable grip of gravity
Red giants
Stellar winds
Quantum deregulation
Core collapse
Transfiguration
Dancing with stars: binary stellar evolution
Multiple stars
Stellar orbits
Roche lobes: the cult symbol
The first stage of binary evolution: the Algol paradox
Mass transfer
Large separation
Small separation
Evolution of the second star
Common-envelope phase
Gravitational radiation
Accretion disks: flat stars
The third object
How a disk forms
Let there be light - and X-rays
A source of friction
A life of its own
Fat centers? the DAF zoo
White dwarfs: quantum dots
Single white dwarfs
Cataclysmic variables
The origin of cataclysmic variables
The final evolution of cataclysmic variables
Supernovae: stellar catastrophes
Observations
The fate of massive stars
Element factories
Collapse and explosion
Polarization and jets: new observations and new concepts
Type Ia supernovae: the peculiar breed
Light curves: radioactive nickel
Supernova 1987A: lessons and enigmas
The large magellanic cloud awakes
The onset
Lessons from the progenitor
Neutrinos!
Neutron star?
The light curve
This cow's not spherical
Rings and jets
Other firsts
Neutron stars: atoms with attitude
History - theory leads, for once
The nature of pulsars - not little green men
Pulsars and supernovae - a game of hide and seek
Neutron star structure - iron skin and superfluid guts
Binary pulsars - "tango por dos"
X-rays from neutron stars - hints of a violent Universe
X-ray flares - a story retold
The Rapid Burster - none of the above
Millisecond pulsars
Soft gamma-ray repeaters - reach out and touch someone
Geminga
Black holes in theory: into the abyss
Why black holes?
The event horizon
Singularity
Being a treatise on the general nature of death within a black hole
Black holes in space and time
Black-hole evaporation: Hawking radiation
Fundamental properties of black holes
Inside black holes
Black holes in fact: exploring the reality
The search for black holes
Cygnus X-1
Other suspects
Black-hole X-ray novae
The nature of the outburst
Lessons from the X-rays
SS 433
Miniquasars
Giants among us
The middle ground
Gamma-ray bursts, black holes and the Universe: long, long ago and far, far away
Gamma-ray bursts: yet another cosmic mystery
The revolution
The shape of things
The supernova and gamma-ray-burst connection
The possibilities: birth pangs of black holes?
The short hard bursts
The future
The past in our future: the Dark Ages
Supernovae and the Universe
Our expanding Universe
The shape of the Universe
The age of the Universe
The fate of the Universe
Dark matter
Vacuum energy - Einstein's blunder that wasn't
Type Ia supernovae as calibrated candles and understood candles
Supernovae and cosmology
Acceleration!
The shape of the Universe revisited
Dark energy
The fate of the Universe revisited
Wormholes and time machines: tunnels in space and time
The mystery of time
Wormholes
Time machines
Beyond: the frontiers
Quantum gravity
When the singularity is not a singularity
Hyperspace perspectives
String theory
Brane worlds
A holographic Universe
Coda
Index

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