860 pages, 65 illustrations, 6 tables
This authoritative book presents the theoretical development of gravitational physics as it applies to the dynamics of celestial bodies and the analysis of precise astronomical observations. In so doing, it fills the need for a textbook that teaches modern dynamical astronomy with a strong emphasis on the relativistic aspects of the subject produced by the curved geometry of four-dimensional spacetime.
The first three chapters review the fundamental principles of celestial mechanics and of special and general relativity. This background material forms the basis for understanding relativistic reference frames, the celestial mechanics of N-body systems, and high-precision astrometry, navigation, and geodesy, which are then treated in the following five chapters. The final chapter provides an overview of the new field of applied relativity, based on recent recommendations from the International Astronomical Union. The book is suitable for teaching advanced undergraduate honors programs and graduate courses, while equally serving as a reference for professional research scientists working in relativity and dynamical astronomy.
1 Newtonian celestial mechanics
2 Introduction to Special Relativity
3 General Relativity
4 Relativistic Reference Frames
5 Post-Newtonian Coordinate Transformations
6 Relativistic Celestial Mechanics
7 Relativistic Astrometry
8 Relativistic Geodesy
9 Relativity in IAU Resolutions
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Sergei M. Kopeikin studied general relativity at the Department of Astrophysics of Moscow State University and obtained a Ph.D. in relativistic astrophysics from the Space Research Institute in Moscow. After obtaining a Doctor of Science degree from Moscow State University he moved to Tokyo (Japan) to teach astronomy in Hitotsubashi University in 1993. Professor Kopeikin moved to Germany in 1997 and worked in the Institute for Theoretical Physics of Friedrich Schiller University of Jena until 1999. Since 2000, he holds the position of a professor of physics at the University of Missouri.
George H. Kaplan was a staff astronomer at the Naval Observatory for over three decades. There, he worked in the Nautical Almanac Office, the Astrometry Department, the office of the Scientific Director, and the Astronomical Applications Department, in both research and management positions. Today he is an astronomer working as an independent, part-time contractor to the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.
Michael Efroimsky is Research Scientist at the United States Naval Observatory. His research focuses on Celestial Mechanics and Solar System Studies. Previous assignments have been at institutions such as Oxford and Harvard University. An experienced teacher having taught numerous related courses to Harvard students, he is in a unique position to convey this complicated topic.