X-ray binaries are some of the most varied and perplexing systems known to astronomers. The compact object which accretes mass from its companion star may be a white dwarf, neutron star, or black hole, whereas the donor star can be a 'normal' star or a white dwarf. The various combinations differ widely in their behaviour, and this timely volume provides a unique reference of our knowledge to date of all of them. Fifteen specially written chapters by a team of the world's foremost researchers in the field explore all aspects of the X-ray binaries. They cover the X-ray, ultraviolet, optical and radio properties of these violent systems and address key issues such as: how were these systems formed, and what will be their fate; how can we understand X-ray bursts, and how the quasi-periodic oscillations; what is the connection between millisecond radio pulsars and low-mass X-ray binaries; and how does the magnetic field of a neutron star decay? This long awaited review provides graduate students and researchers with the standard reference on X-ray binaries for many years to come.
'... I must say at the outset that it is packed with information, and so beautifully presented by CUP, that the price is a fair one and actually represents good value-for-money! ... a must for your bookshelf and every astronomical library. I have already made this book required reading for my graduate students.' Phil Charles, Observatory
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