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Astrophysics in a Nutshell


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Table of Contents

Preface xii Constants and Units xvii Chapter 1: Introduction 1 1.1 Observational Techniques 2 Problems 8 Chapter 2: Stars: Basic Observations 10 2.1 Review of Blackbody Radiation 10 2.2 Measurement of Stellar Parameters 14 2.3 The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram 26 Problems 28 Chapter 3: Stellar Physics 30 3.1 Hydrostatic Equilibrium and the Virial Theorem 31 3.2 Mass Continuity 35 3.3 Radiative Energy Transport 35 3.4 Energy Conservation 40 3.5 The Equations of Stellar Structure 41 3.6 The Equation of State 42 3.7 Opacity 44 3.8 Scaling Relations on the Main Sequence 45 3.9 Nuclear Energy Production 47 3.10 Nuclear Reaction Rates 52 3.11 Solution of the Equations of Stellar Structure 57 3.12 Convection 57 Problems 60 Chapter 4: Stellar Evolution and Stellar Remnants 64 4.1 Stellar Evolution 64 4.2 White Dwarfs 69 4.3 Supernovae and Neutron Stars 82 4.4 Pulsars 89 4.5 Black Holes 96 4.6 Interacting Binaries 99 Problems 109 Chapter 5: Star Formation and the Interstellar Medium 115 5.1 Cloud Collapse and Star Formation 115 5.2 H II Regions 122 5.3 Components of the Interstellar Medium 133 5.4 Shocks, Supernova Remnants, and Cosmic Rays 136 Problems 153 Chapter 6: Extrasolar Planets 157 6.1 Planet Detection Methods 158 6.2 Planetary System Occurrence and Architecture 175 6.3 Planet Formation and Evolution 178 6.4 Habitable Zones and the Search for Life 180 Problems 182 Chapter 7: The Milky Way and Other Galaxies 185 7.1 Structure of the Milky Way 185 7.2 Galaxy Demographics 200 7.3 Active Galactic Nuclei and Quasars 203 7.4 Groups and Clusters of Galaxies 208 Problems 212 Chapter 8: Cosmology: Basic Observations 215 8.1 The Olbers Paradox 215 8.2 Extragalactic Distances 216 8.3 Hubble's Law 223 8.4 Age of the Universe from Cosmic Clocks 225 8.5 Isotropy of the Universe 226 Problems 227 Chapter 9: Big Bang Cosmology 228 9.1 The Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker Metric 228 9.2 The Friedmann Equations 231 9.3 History and Future of the Universe 234 9.4 A Newtonian Derivation of the Friedmann Equations 240 9.5 Dark Energy and the Accelerating Universe 242 Problems 245 Chapter 10: Tests and Probes of Big Bang Cosmology 247 10.1 Cosmological Redshift and Hubble's Law 247 10.2 The Cosmic Microwave Background 251 10.3 Anisotropy of the Microwave Background 255 10.4 Baron Acoustic Oscillations 261 10.5 Nucleosynthesis of the Light Elements 263 10.6 Quasars and Other Distant Sources as Cosmological Probes 266 Problems 269 Appendix 275 Index 239

About the Author

Dan Maoz is the George S. Wise Professor at Tel-Aviv University, where he chairs the School of Physics and Astronomy.


One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2016 Praise for the first edition: "Dan Maoz aims to provide a concise guide to the subject for advanced science undergraduates. The essentials of modern astrophysics are covered, from traditional topics such as stellar remnants and galaxies to recent research including dark matter and dark energy, while training students in order-of-magnitude analysis."--Times Higher Education Praise for the first edition: "Maoz makes generous and excellent use of back-of-the-envelope calculations and approximations to the more complete theory, accurate enough to both illustrate the physics and to arrive at decent numerical answers... Lots of material is squeezed into this thin volume. The treatment of stellar physics is particularly insightful; other topics--galaxies and galactic structure and cosmology--are also very well done."--K. L. Schick, Choice Praise for the first edition: "The presentation of so much material ... is done very skillfully, with a judicious balance between mathematical discussion and physical argument. The pedagogic value of the text is greatly enhanced by the problems given at the end of each chapter. Altogether, the book lives well up to the publisher's declared aims."--Leon Mestel, Observatory Praise for the first edition: "This is, without a doubt, one of the best books that I have used for an introductory course in astrophysics over the past decade. The book is unique in providing a pedagogical and authoritative overview of all the important topics in present-day astrophysics with mathematical rigor. The equations are self-contained and well explained, and the results are derived in a concise, factual manner with careful attention to details. My students, teaching assistant, and I have all found the book to be outstanding."--Avi Loeb, Harvard University Praise for the first edition: "Astrophysics in a Nutshell introduces the serious student to the tools, diversity, and power of modern astrophysical theory. In one panoramic volume, both text and reference, the author presents and applies essential concepts and equations, introducing the methods by which we seek to understand the inner workings of the cosmos. It will make a useful addition to the libraries of novice and pundit alike."--Adam Burrows, Princeton University Praise for the first edition: "Astrophysics in a Nutshell is just that--a no-nonsense, fast-paced textbook that authoritatively covers the concepts underlying modern astronomy at an advanced undergraduate level. Dan Maoz does a remarkably good job of presenting the widest range of material that can be reasonably contained in a serious one-semester course. The book's scholarship is excellent and fully up to date."--Greg Laughlin, University of California, Santa Cruz Praise for the first edition: "I have nothing but praise for this textbook. It is a significant contribution to a field that is short on introductions to astronomy for science majors. Astrophysics in a Nutshell fills a basic need."--Lynne Hillenbrand, California Institute of Technology "The book is outstanding and belongs on al physics professors' desks and in all colleges and libraries."--Choice

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