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  • Cited by 3
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
July 2022
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:
Cambridge Astrophysics (57)

Book description

After more than half a century since their unexpected discovery and identification as neutron stars, the observation and understanding of pulsars touches upon many areas of astronomy and astrophysics. The literature on pulsars is vast and the observational techniques used now cover the whole of the electromagnetic spectrum from radio to gamma-rays. Now in its fifth edition, this volume has been reorganised and features new material throughout. It provides an introduction in historical and physical terms to the many aspects of neutron stars, including condensed matter, physics of the magnetosphere, supernovae and the development of the pulsar population, propagation in the interstellar medium, binary stars, gravitation and general relativity. The current development of a new generation of powerful radio telescopes, designed with pulsar research in mind, makes this survey and guide essential reading for a growing body of students and astronomers.


From reviews of the previous edition(s):‘[The new edition] covers a broad range of topics in a concise way, and it is particularly strong in its discussions of pulsar emission phenomenology, pulsars as probes of the interstellar medium and timing irregularities in young pulsars … With its breadth and clear presentation, the new edition will continue to be a valuable introduction for graduate students and others.'

Stephen E. Thorsett - Princeton University Source: Physics Today

‘For anyone starting research, or preparing a graduate lecture course, this comprehensive authoritative, and readable introduction to pulsars, with some interesting historical asides, is strongly recommended.'

Antony Hewish - University of Cambridge Source: The Observatory

‘[T]he book has much evolved since its first edition … the book remains the best textbook if people want to learn about pulsars and pulsar astronomy … The vast experience of the authors, who are world-leading experts in this field, clearly shows … the improved structure, combined with updates and the much-more-than-just cosmetic changes to various chapters make the book worth buying, even if one has an old edition. It feels simply easier to read and handle, while still providing a good balance between breadth and depth … this is the ‘go-to’ introduction to the field.’

Michael Kramer Source: The Observatory

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  • 1 - The Discoveries
    pp 3-23


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