This classic text - aimed at senior undergraduates and beginning graduate students in physics and astronomy - presents a wide range of concepts in sufficient depth to give the reader a quantitative understanding of the subject. Emphasising physical concepts, it provides the student with a series of astrophysical sketches, concluding with a synthesis of all the subjects discussed in the book, sketching the history of the universe from its beginning to the formation of the Sun and the planets.
An Approach to Astrophysics.- The Cosmic Distance Scale.- Dynamics and Masses of Astronomical Bodies.- Random Processes.- Photons and Fast Particles.- Electromagnetic Processes in Space.- Quantum Processes in Astrophysics.- Stars.- Cosmic Gas and Dust.- Formation of Stars and Planetary Systems.- The Universe We Inhabit.- An Astrophysical History of the Universe.- The Formation of the Cosmic Structures.- Life in the Universe.- Appendix A: Astronomical Terminology.- Appendix B: Astrophysical Constants.- Index.
FROM REVIEWS OF THE PREVIOUS EDITION "a clear, solid introduction to astrophysics ... that shows how physics can be applied to astronomical objects ... One of the strong points is the problems (that) give students a real feel for the sort of calculations astronomers must do ... were I teaching a junior/senior astrophysics course, this is the book I would use." AM.J.PHYS. "This is a popular book among professional astrophysicists, produced with that meticulous detail and completeness of the house of Springer ! This is indeed a theoretician's book [and] Harwit has made a prodigious effort in organizing all this information in a logical sequence ! A masterly mathematical exposition of a galaxy of astrophysical processes." Astronomy The great strength of the book lies in the lucidity and elegance with which chosen topics are quantitatively developed using elementary and clever arguments, instructive problems being distributed throughout, and in the skeptical spirit of inquiry that pervades the writing." NATURE "Astronomer Harwit has finally updated his classic textbook to encompass the exciting developments of the decade since its last edition. It is ideal for those Scientific American readers who are mathematically literate and who want to pursue topics covered in the magazine to greater depth. Harwit takes a thematic approach to the subject, oriented around the guiding physical principles rather than the conventional sequence of planet, star, galaxy and cosmos. The approach rewards readers who just want to flip through the book as well as students who want to derive for themselves some of the basic equations in astronomy." SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN