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Cosmic Catastrophes: Exploding Stars, Black Holes, and Mapping the Universe,9780521857147

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

Edition: 2nd
Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 1/22/2007
Publisher(s): Cambridge University Press
Availability: This title is currently not available.


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.

Author Biography

J. Craig Wheeler is the Samuel T. and Fern Yahagisawa Regents Professor of Astronomy and Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Texas Austin

Table of Contents

1. Setting the stage: star formation and hydrogen burning in single stars
2. Stellar death: the inexorable grip of gravity
3. Dancing with stars: binary stellar evolution
4. Accretion disks: flat stars
5. White Dwarfs: quantum dots
6. Supernovae: stellar catastrophes
7. Supernova 1987A: lessons and enigmas
8. Neutron stars: atoms with attitude
9. Black holes in theory: into the abyss
10. Black holes in fact: exploring the reality
11. Gamma-ray bursts, black holes and the universe: long, long ago and far, far away
12. Supernovae and the universe
13. Worm holes and time machines: tunnels in space and time
14. Beyond: the frontiers

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