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This concise textbook, the first volume in the Ohio State Astrophysics Series, covers all aspects of the interstellar and intergalactic medium for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. This series aims to impart the essential knowledge on a topic that every astrophysics graduate student should know, without going into encyclopedic depth. This text includes a full discussion of the circumgalactic medium, which bridges the space between the interstellar and intergalactic gas, and the hot intracluster gas that fills clusters of galaxies. Its breadth of coverage is innovative, as most current textbooks treat the interstellar medium in isolation. The authors emphasise an order-of-magnitude understanding of the physical processes that heat and cool the low-density gas in the universe, as well as the processes of ionization, recombination, and molecule formation. Problems at the end of each chapter are supplemented by online projects, data sets and other resources.
This concise textbook, designed specifically for a one-semester course in astrophysics, introduces astrophysical concepts to undergraduate science and engineering students with a background in college-level, calculus-based physics. The text is organized into five parts covering: stellar properties; stellar structure and evolution; the interstellar medium and star/planet formation; the Milky Way and other galaxies; and cosmology. Structured around short easily digestible chapters, instructors have flexibility to adjust their course's emphasis as it suits them. Exposition drawn from the author's decade of teaching his course guides students toward a basic but quantitative understanding, with 'quick questions' to spur practice in basic computations, together with more challenging multi-part exercises at the end of each chapter. Advanced concepts like the quantum nature of energy and radiation are developed as needed. The text's approach and level bridge the wide gap between introductory astronomy texts for non-science majors and advanced undergraduate texts for astrophysics majors.
Foundations of Astrophysics provides a contemporary and complete introduction to astrophysics for astronomy and physics majors. With a logical presentation and conceptual and quantitative end-of-chapter problems, the material is accessible to introductory astrophysics students taking a two-semester survey course. Starting with the motions of the solar system and a discussion of the interaction of matter and light, the authors explore the physical nature of objects in the solar system, and the exciting new field of exoplanets. The second half of their text covers stellar, galactic, and extragalactic astronomy, followed by a brief discussion of cosmology. This is a reissue of the original 2010 edition, which has established itself as one of the market-leading astrophysics texts, well known for its clarity and simplicity. It has introduced thousands of physical science students to the breadth of astronomy, and helped prepare them for more advanced studies.
Radiative transfer is essential for obtaining information from the spectra of astrophysical objects. This volume provides an overview of the physical and mathematical background of radiative transfer, and its applications to stellar and planetary atmospheres. It covers the phenomenology and physics of early-type and late-type stars, as well as ultra-cool dwarf stars and extrasolar planets. Importantly, it provides a bridge between classical radiative transfer and stellar atmosphere modelling and novel approaches, from both theoretical and computational standpoints. With new fields of application and a dramatic improvement in both observational and computational facilities, it also discusses the future outlook for the field. Chapters are written by eminent researchers from across the astronomical disciplines where radiative transfer is employed. Using the most recent observations, this is a go-to resource for graduate students and researchers in astrophysics.
The practice of weather forecasting underwent a crucial transformation in the Middle Ages. Exploring how scientifically-based meteorology spread and flourished from c.700–c.1600, this study reveals the dramatic changes in forecasting and how the new science of 'astro-meteorology' developed. Both narrower and more practical in its approach than earlier forms of meteorology, this new science claimed to deliver weather forecasts for months and even years ahead, on the premise that weather is caused by the atmospheric effects of the planets and stars, and mediated by local and seasonal climatic conditions. Anne Lawrence-Mathers explores how these forecasts were made and explains the growing practice of recording actual weather. These records were used to support forecasting practices, and their popularity grew from the fourteenth century onwards. Essential reading for anyone interested in medieval science, Medieval Meteorology demonstrates that the roots of scientific forecasting are much deeper than is usually recognized.
Integrating both scientific and philosophical perspectives, this book provides an informed analysis of the challenges of formulating a universal theory of life. Among the issues discussed are crucial differences between definitions and scientific theories and, in the context of examples from the history of science, how successful general theories develop. The central problem discussed is two-fold: first, our understanding of life is still tacitly wedded to an antiquated Aristotelian framework for biology; and second, there are compelling reasons for considering that familiar Earth life, which descends from a last universal common ancestor, is unrepresentative. What is needed are examples of life as we don't know it. Potential sources are evaluated, including artificial life, extraterrestrial life, and a shadow biosphere right here on Earth, and a novel strategy for searching for unfamiliar life in the absence of a definition or general theory is developed. The book is a valuable resource for graduate students and researchers studying the nature, origins, and extent of life in the universe.
The search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI) has for sixty years attempted to solve Fermi's paradox: if intelligent life is relatively common in the universe, where is everybody? Examining SETI through this lens, this volume summarises current thinking on the prevalence of intelligent life in the universe, and discusses sixty-six distinct solutions to the so-called paradox. It describes the methodology of SETI, and how many disciplines feed into the debate, from physics and biology, to philosophy and anthropology. The presented solutions are organised into three key groups: rare-Earth solutions, suggesting planetary habitability, life and intelligence are uncommon; catastrophist solutions, arguing civilisations do not survive long enough to make contact; and non-empirical solutions, those that take theoretical approaches, such as that our methodology is flawed. This comprehensive introduction to SETI concludes by looking at the future of the field and speculating on humanity's potential fate.
Stars are mostly found in binary and multiple systems, with at least 50% of all solar-like stars having companions; this fraction approaches 100% for the most massive stars. A large proportion of these systems interact and alter the structure and evolution of their components, leading to exotic objects such as Algol variables, blue stragglers and other chemically peculiar stars, but also to phenomena such as non-spherical planetary nebulae, supernovae and gamma-ray bursts. While it is understood that binaries play a critical role in the Initial Mass Function, the interactions among binary systems significantly affect the dynamical evolution of stellar clusters and galaxies. This interdisciplinary volume presents results from state-of-the-art models and observations aimed at studying the impact of binaries on stellar evolution in resolved and unresolved populations. Serving as a bridge between observational and theoretical astronomy, it is a comprehensive review for researchers and advanced students of astrophysics.
High time-resolution astrophysics (HTRA) involves measuring and studying astronomical phenomena on timescales of seconds to milliseconds. Although many areas of astronomy, such as X-ray astronomy and pulsar observations, have traditionally required high time-resolution studies, HTRA techniques are now being applied to optical, infrared and gamma-ray wavelength regimes, due to the development of high efficiency detectors and larger telescopes that can gather photons at a higher rate. With lectures from eminent scientists aimed at young researchers and postdoctorate students in observational astronomy and astrophysics, this volume gives a practical overview and introduction to the tools and techniques of HTRA. Just as multi-spectral observations of astrophysical phenomena are already yielding new scientific results, many astronomers are optimistic that exploring the time domain will open up an important new frontier in observational astronomy over the next decade.
Bayesian methods are being increasingly employed in many different areas of research in the physical sciences. In astrophysics, models are used to make predictions to be compared to observations. These observations offer information that is incomplete and uncertain, so the comparison has to be pursued by following a probabilistic approach. With contributions from leading experts, this volume covers the foundations of Bayesian inference, a description of computational methods, and recent results from their application to areas such as exoplanet detection and characterisation, image reconstruction, and cosmology. It appeals to both young researchers seeking to learn about Bayesian methods as well as to astronomers wishing to incorporate these approaches in their research areas. It provides the next generation of researchers with the tools of modern data analysis that are already becoming standard in current astrophysical research.
The search for life in the universe, once the stuff of science fiction, is now a robust worldwide research program with a well-defined roadmap probing both scientific and societal issues. This volume examines the humanistic aspects of astrobiology, systematically discussing the approaches, critical issues, and implications of discovering life beyond Earth. What do the concepts of life and intelligence, culture and civilization, technology and communication mean in a cosmic context? What are the theological and philosophical implications if we find life - and if we do not? Steven J. Dick argues that given recent scientific findings, the discovery of life in some form beyond Earth is likely and so we need to study the possible impacts of such a discovery and formulate policies to deal with them. The remarkable and often surprising results are presented here in a form accessible to disciplines across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
Magnetic fields pervade the universe and play an important role in many astrophysical processes. However, they require specialised observational tools, and are challenging to model and understand. This volume provides a unified view of magnetic fields across astrophysical and cosmological contexts, drawing together disparate topics that are rarely covered together. Written by the lecturers of the XXV Canary Islands Winter School, it offers a self-contained introduction to cosmic magnetic fields on a range of scales. The connections between the behaviours of magnetic fields in these varying contexts are particularly emphasised, from the relatively small and close ranges of the Sun, planets and stars, to galaxies and clusters of galaxies, as well as on cosmological scales. Aimed at young researchers and graduate students, this up-to-date review uniquely brings together a subject often tackled by disconnected communities, conveying the latest advances as well as highlighting the limits of our current understanding.
The Physics GRE plays a significant role in deciding admissions to nearly all US physics Ph.D. programs, yet few exam-prep books focus on the test's actual content and unique structure. Recognized as one of the best student resources available, this tailored guide has been thoroughly updated for the current Physics GRE. It contains carefully selected review material matched to all of the topics covered, as well as tips and tricks to help solve problems under time pressure. It features three full-length practice exams, revised to accurately reflect the difficulty of the current test, with fully worked solutions so that students can simulate taking the test, review their preparedness, and identify areas in which further study is needed. Written by working physicists who took the Physics GRE for their own graduate admissions to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this self-contained reference guide will help students achieve their best score.
A comprehensive guide to data analysis techniques for physical scientists, providing a valuable resource for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, as well as seasoned researchers. The book begins with an extensive discussion of the foundational concepts and methods of probability and statistics under both the frequentist and Bayesian interpretations of probability. It next presents basic concepts and techniques used for measurements of particle production cross-sections, correlation functions, and particle identification. Much attention is devoted to notions of statistical and systematic errors, beginning with intuitive discussions and progressively introducing the more formal concepts of confidence intervals, credible range, and hypothesis testing. The book also includes an in-depth discussion of the methods used to unfold or correct data for instrumental effects associated with measurement and process noise as well as particle and event losses, before ending with a presentation of elementary Monte Carlo techniques.
An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics is a comprehensive, well-organized and engaging text covering every major area of modern astrophysics, from the solar system and stellar astronomy to galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, and cosmology. Designed to provide students with a working knowledge of modern astrophysics, this textbook is suitable for astronomy and physics majors who have had a first-year introductory physics course with calculus. Featuring a brief summary of the main scientific discoveries that have led to our current understanding of the universe; worked examples to facilitate the understanding of the concepts presented in the book; end-of-chapter problems to practice the skills acquired; and computational exercises to numerically model astronomical systems, the second edition of An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics is the go-to textbook for learning the core astrophysics curriculum as well as the many advances in the field.
This comprehensive guide to Bayesian methods in astronomy enables hands-on work by supplying complete R, JAGS, Python, and Stan code, to use directly or to adapt. It begins by examining the normal model from both frequentist and Bayesian perspectives and then progresses to a full range of Bayesian generalized linear and mixed or hierarchical models, as well as additional types of models such as ABC and INLA. The book provides code that is largely unavailable elsewhere and includes details on interpreting and evaluating Bayesian models. Initial discussions offer models in synthetic form so that readers can easily adapt them to their own data; later the models are applied to real astronomical data. The consistent focus is on hands-on modeling, analysis of data, and interpretations that address scientific questions. A must-have for astronomers, its concrete approach will also be attractive to researchers in the sciences more generally.
Are we alone in the Universe? Was there anything before the Big Bang? Are there other universes? What makes stars shine? Where does Earth's water come from? Why is the night sky dark? Was there ever life on Mars? How do telescopes work? This engaging guide book answers all these questions and hundreds more, making it a practical reference for anyone who has ever wondered what is out in the cosmos, where it all comes from, and how it all works. Richly illustrated in color throughout, it gives simple yet rigorous explanations in non-technical language, summarizing current astronomical knowledge, without overlooking the important underlying scientific principles. This second edition includes substantial new material throughout, including the latest findings from the New Horizons, Rosetta, and Dawn space missions, and images from professional telescopes such as the Hubble Space Telescope and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array.
The second edition of this popular text provides undergraduates with a quantitative yet accessible introduction to the physical principles underlying the collection and analysis of observational data in contemporary optical and infrared astronomy. The text clearly links recent developments in ground- and space-based telescopes, observatory and instrument design, adaptive optics, and detector technologies to the more modest telescopes and detectors that students may use themselves. Beginning with reviews of the most relevant physical concepts and an introduction to elementary statistics, students are given the firm theoretical foundation they need. New topics, including an expanded treatment of spectroscopy, Gaia, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, and photometry at large redshifts bring the text up to date. Historical development of topics and quotations emphasize that astronomy is both a scientific and a human endeavour, while extensive end-of-chapter exercises facilitate the students' practical learning experience.
Gravitational lenses offer the best, and sometimes the only, means of tackling key problems in many fields of astrophysics and cosmology. According to Einstein's theory, the curvature of light-rays increases with mass; gravitational lenses can be used to map the distribution of mass in a Universe in which virtually all matter is dark matter of an unknown nature. Gravitational lensing has significantly improved our knowledge of many astrophysical phenomena, such as exoplanets, galaxies, active galactic nuclei, quasars, clusters, large-scale structure and the Universe itself. All these topics are covered fully in this book, together with two tutorials on lens and microlensing modelling. The future of lensing in relation to large surveys and the anticipated discoveries of thousands more gravitational lenses is also discussed, making this volume an ideal guide for postgraduate students and practising researchers in the use of gravitational lenses as a tool in their investigations.
The Cambridge Double Star Atlas is back! It is the first and only atlas of physical double stars that can be viewed with amateur astronomical instruments. Completely rewritten, this new edition explains the latest research into double stars, and looks at the equipment, techniques and opportunities that will enable you to discover, observe and measure them. The target list has been completely revised and extended to 2500 binary or multiple systems. Each system is described with the most recent and accurate data from the authoritative Washington Double Star Catalog, including the HD and SAO numbers that are most useful in our digital age. Hundreds of remarks explain the attributes of local, rapidly changing, often measured or known orbital systems. The color atlas charts by Wil Tirion have been updated to help you easily find and identify the target systems, as well as other deep-sky objects. This is an essential reference for double star observers.