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The Life and Death of Stars
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Book description

In this well-illustrated text, Kenneth R. Lang explains the life cycle of stars, from the dense molecular clouds that are stellar nurseries to the enigmatic nebulae some stars leave behind in their violent ends. Free of mathematical equations and technical jargon, Lang's lively and accessible text provides physical insights into how stars such as our Sun are born, what fuels them and keeps them bright, how they evolve and the processes by which they eventually die. The book demonstrates the sheer scope and variety of stellar phenomena in the context of the universe as a whole. Boxed focus elements enhance and amplify the discussion for readers looking for more depth. Featuring more than 150 figures, including color plates, The Life and Death of Stars is a modern and up-to-date account of stars written for a broad audience, from armchair astronomers and popular science readers to students and teachers of science.

Reviews

'Of interest to readers of all ages, The Life and Death of Stars should be your 'go to' popular science text for facts about the Sun, the solar system, the stars, and the Universe … contains stunning color photos taken by satellites and Earth-based observatories of supernova, nebula, clusters, and colliding galaxies … also artfully balances descriptive explanations with fundamental relationships … thorough, detailed, and fascinating.'

Robert Schaefer Source: New York Journal of Books

'My own understanding of the behaviour and lifecycle of stars has grown enormously from reading this book, and yours will too … Lang delivers with this book. After reading it, I’ll definitely be checking out his other books … [it] broadened and deepened my understanding of all things stellar. It’s a fantastic book, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to … readers who wish to expand their knowledge of astrophysics.'

Evan Gough Source: Universe Today

'… an excellent primer … for someone looking to get a better understanding of how stars work … I can recommend this book.'

Source: Astronomy Now

'It's hard to imagine a better non-mathematical treatment of the subject for amateur astronomers wanting to take their understanding to the next level.'

Source: BBC Sky at Night

'This book is a perfect read for students and scientists alike. It packs the entire field of stellar and extragalactic astrophysics in an easy-to-read text full of analogies to everyday life and hard-to-find historical anecdotes and scientific discoveries. Although the general public interested in astronomy will enjoy this book, the nuances of the accomplishments of the scientists that developed this field can be fully appreciated only by those who have already taken an astronomy course. Peppered throughout the work are quotes by poets (e.g. Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda), unique tables, and a vast array of clear figures and pictures accompanied by detailed captions and no equations. The amount and quality of the information presented makes the volume a hybrid between a textbook and a popular science book. Highly recommended.'

M. Takamiya Source: Choice

'Lang could have titled his book, 'Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Lives of Stars': it is well written, thorough and detailed, but not dense - a fine addition to a personal library - or any library.'

Source: SkyNews

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Contents

Quotation References
Harrison, George (1943–2001): “Here Comes the Sun,” from the 1969 Beatles album, Abbey Road. Words and music by George Harrison © 1969 Harrisongs Ltd.
Francis, William Bourdillon (1852–1921): “Among the Flowers” (1878). In The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Fourth Edition (Partington, Angela, ed.), Oxford University Press, New York, 1992, p. 138. Also in John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, Sixteenth Edition (Justin Kaplan, ed.), Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1992, p. 563.
Johannes, Kepler (1571–1630): In the prayer near the end of his Harmonice Mundi, translated by Owen Gingerich in “Kepler's Anguish and Hawking's Query,” The Great Ideas Today 1992, Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago, 1992. The prayer begins with “I give Thee thanks, O Lord Creator, because I have delighted in thy handiwork.” Kepler was a deeply religious thinker, convinced that his Christian God had created a rational, ordered universe, whose ultimate secrets could be discovered. He hoped to show that “the heavenly machine is a kind of clockwork, insofar as nearly all the manifold motions are caused by a most simple, magnetic, and material force…given numerical and geometrical expression,” as written in a letter dated February 10, 1605 to Herwart von Hohenberg, the Bavarian Chancellor and Kepler's patron, reproduced in Max Casper and Walther von Dyck (eds.), Kepler: Gesammelte Werke, Volume XV, C. H. Beck, Munich, 1938, p. 145; and translated by Arthur Koestler, The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe, Arkana, Penguin Books, New York, 1959, p. 345.
Letter written by Robert, William Bunsen (1811–1899) to the English chemist Henry Enfield Roscoe (1833–1915) in November 1859: Quoted by Roscoe inThe Life and Experiences of Sir Henry Enfield Roscoe, London, 1906, p. 71. It is reproduced by A. J. Meadows in his article, “The Origins of Astrophysics,” The General History of Astronomy, Vol. 4, Astrophysics and Twentieth-Century Astronomy to 1950, Part A (Owen Gingerich, ed.), Cambridge University Press, New York, 1984, p. 5. Also see Gustav Robert Kirchhoff (1824–1877): “On the Chemical Analysis of the Solar Atmosphere,” Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science 21, 185–188 (1861); reproduced by A. J. Meadows in Early Solar Physics, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1970, pp. l03–106; Gustav Kirchhoff and Robert Bunsen, “Chemical Analysis of Spectrum Observations,” Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science 20, 89–109 (1860); 22, 329–349, 498–510 (1861).
Ronald, W. Gurney (1898–1953) and Edward U. Condon (1902–1974): “Wave Mechanics and Radioactive Disintegration,”Nature 122, 493 (1928).
Wolfgang, Pauli (1900–1958): Remarks at the Seventh Solvay Conference, October 1933. Reproduced in the original French inCollected Scientific Papers of Wolfgang Pauli, Vol. 2 (Kronig, Ralph and Weisskopf, Victor F., eds.), Wiley Interscience, New York, 1964, p. 1319. Quoted in English by Christine Sutton in Spaceship Neutrino, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1992, p. 19.
Frederick, Reines (1918–1998) and Cowan, Clyde L. (1919–1974): Telegram to Pauli dated 14 June 1956. Quoted in “Proceedings of the International Colloquium on the History of Particle Physics,”Journal de Physique 43, Supplement C8, 237 (1982). Also quoted by Christine Sutton in Spaceship Neutrino, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1992, p. 44.
Bhagavad-Gita, Book 11, Sections 12, 32, English translation by Winthrop Sargeant, State University of New York Press, Albany, New York, 1984, pp. 464 and 484.
Jules, Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967): “Physics in the Contemporary World: Enhancement of Science, with Knowledge Imparted for Man's Benefit,” Second Arthur D. Little Lecture, Technology Review, February 1948, p. 203, reproduced in Time Magazine, February 23, 1948, p. 94.
William, Thomson (1824–1907): “On the Age of the Sun's Heat,” Macmillan's Magazine, March 5, 288–293 (1862). Popular Lectures I, 349–368. William Thomson is better known today as Lord Kelvin. Also see J. D. Burchfield, Lord Kelvin and the Age of the Earth, Science History Publications, New York, 1975.
Arthur, Stanley Eddington (1882–1944): “The Internal Constitution of the Stars,” Nature 106, 14–20 (1920); Observatory 43, 341–358 (1920). Reproduced by Kenneth R. Lang and Owen Gingerich in A Source Book in Astronomy and Astrophysics, 1900–1975. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1979, pp. 281–290.
Arthur, Stanley Eddington (1882–1944): ibid., Reference 11.
Hans, A. Bethe (1906–2005): “My Life in Astrophysics,”Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics 41, 6–7 (2003).
John, Updike (1932–2009): Cosmic Gall, The New Yorker, 17 December 1960, p. 36. Reproduced by Updike in Telephone Poles and Other Poems, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979, p. 5, and in Collected Poems 1953–1993, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1993, p. 315.
Dante, Alighieri (1265–1321): La Divina Commedia, Cantica I, L’Inferno, Canto XXXIV, line 129. Dorothy L. Sayers (translator). The Divine Comedy, Volume I. Hell, Canto XXXIV, line 139, Basic Books, New York, 1963, p. 289.
“Star Light, Star Bright” is an English-language nursery rhyme, which first began to be recorded in the late nineteenth century.
Dante, Alighieri (1265–1381): La Divina Commedia, Cantica III, Il Paradiso, Canto XXXIII, line 145. Dorothy L. Sayers (translator), The Divine Comedy, Volume III, Paradise, Canto XXXIII, line 145, Basic Books, New York, 1963, p. 347.
Arthur, Stanley Eddington (1882–1944): “The Internal Constitution of the Stars,”Nature 106, 14–20 (1920); Observatory 43, 341–358 (1920). Reproduced by Kenneth R. Lang and Owen Gingerich in A Source Book in Astronomy and Astrophysics, 1900–1975. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1979, pp. 281–290.
Percy, Shelley (1792–1822): Hellas, A Lyrical Drama, Chorus lines 196–199. London, Charles and James Ollier, 1822.
Henry, Norris Russell (1877–1957) recalled this discovery of the anomalous spectrum of 40 Eridani B in a colloquium at Princeton University Observatory in 1954, A. G. Davis Philip and D. H. de Vorkin (eds.), “In Memory of Henry Norris Russell,” Dudley Observatory Report No. 13 (1977).
Arthur, Stanley Eddington (1882–1944): Stars and Atoms, Oxford Clarendon Press, 1927, p. 50.
Dylan, Thomas (1914–1953): Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night, written for the Welsh poet's dying father and first published in the journal Botteghe Oscure in 1951.
Walter, Baade (1893–1960) and Fritz Zwicky (1898–1974): “Cosmic Rays from Super-Novae,”Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 20, No. 5, 259–263 (1934).
John, Michell (1724–1793): “On the means of discovering the distance, magnitude, etc., of the fixed stars, in consequence of the diminution of their light, in case such a diminution should be found to take place in any of them, and such other data should be procured from observations, as would be further necessary for that purpose,”Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (London) 74, 35 (1784).
Camille, Flammarion (1842–1925): Les Etoiles, Paris, 1882, p. 181. English quotation by Charles A. Whitney, “The Skies of Vincent Van Gogh,” Art History 9, 358 (1986).
George, Ellery Hale (1868–1938): Harper's Magazine 156, 639–646 (1928).
Eihei, Dogen (1200–1253): Death Poem.
Alan, H. Guth (1947−): “Eternal Inflation and Its Implications,”Journal of Physics A40, 6811–6826 (2007).
Albert, Einstein (1879–1955). Quoted in Helen Dukas and Baresh Hoffmann, Albert Einstein, the Human Side, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1979, p. 132. Quotation reproduced in The Expanded Quotable Einstein, collected and edited by Alice Calaprice, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2000, p. 298.
Albert, Einstein (1879–1955): Quoted in Banesh Hoffmann: Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel, New York, Viking, 1972. Also see Alice Calaprice (ed.), The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2000, page 261.
Albert, Einstein (1879–1955): “What I Believe,”Forum and Century 84, 193–194 (1930). Also see Alice Calaprice (ed.), The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2000, p. 295.
Pablo, Neruda (1904–1973): Poetry, translated by Alastair Reed (1926−).
Georges, Lemaître (1894–1966): “L’expansion de l’espace,” La Revue des Questions Scientifiques, 4e Série. November 1931. English translation in The Primeval Atom: An Essay on Cosmogony, by Georges Lemaître, D. Van Nostrand Co., New York, 1950, p. 78.
Eliot, T. S. (1881–965): The Hollow Men.
Robert, Frost (1874–1963): Fire and Ice.

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