The study of cataclysmic variables - interacting binary stars containing a white dwarf accreting from an orbiting companion - is undergoing an exciting renaissance, as it embraces observations at all wavelengths. Cataclysmic variables allow, in particular, the direct and detailed study of equilibrium and non-equilibrium accretion discs; in turn these developments also help in our understanding of X-ray binaries, black holes and active galactic nuclei. This timely volume provides the first comprehensive survey of cataclysmic variable stars, integrating theory and observation into a single, synthesised text. An introductory chapter gives the historical background of studies of cataclysmic variables. The author then goes on to give an up-to-date review of both the observations (at all wavelengths, and over all time-scales), the theories, the models of the structures and accretion processes believed to be involved. A very detailed bibliography is also provided to guide the reader to pertinent primary literature.
'Rarely have I been as excited opening a book. Long rumoured on the astronomical grapevine, 'Warner' has finally arrived. We have not been disappointed. This is a magnificent book, a brilliant review of the field written by one of its founding fathers ... I can give no higher recommendation than to say that 'Warner' has already become the most used volume on my bookshelf, and will be an essential companion on my future observing trips and research visits.' Vik Dhillon, The Observatory 'The book is extremely thorough and would provide a good grounding to any PhD student or newcomer to the field. In fact it is a must for anyone seriously interested in CV research.' Janet Wood, Astronomy Now 'This recent addition to the series by Brian Warner, of the University of Cape Town, and a recognised authority on CVs, brings with it all the expected comprehensiveness and graphical detail to this subject.' Irish Astronomical Journal ' ... provides a complete introduction for graduate students.' Physics Today
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