Principles of Astrophysics. Using Gravity and Stellar Physics to Explore the Cosmos – Charles Keeton – 1st Edition


This book gives a survey of astrophysics at the advanced undergraduate level, providing a physics-centred analysis of a broad range of astronomical systems. It originates from a two-semester course sequence at Rutgers University that is meant to appeal not only to astrophysics students but also more broadly to physics and engineering students.

The organisation is driven more by physics than by astronomy; in other words, topics are first developed in physics and then applied to astronomical systems that can be investigated, rather than the other way around.

The first half of the book focuses on gravity. The theme in this part of the book, as well as throughout astrophysics, is using motion to investigate mass. The goal of Chapters 2-11 is to develop a progressively richer understanding of gravity as it applies to objects ranging from planets and moons to galaxies and the universe as a whole. The second half uses other aspects of physics to address one of the big questions. While “Why are we here?” lies beyond the realm of physics, a closely related question is within our reach: “How did we get here?” The goal of Chapters 12-20 is to understand the physics behind the remarkable story of how the Universe, Earth and life were formed.

This book assumes familiarity with vector calculus and introductory physics (mechanics, electromagnetism, gas physics and atomic physics); however, all of the physics topics are reviewed as they come up (and vital aspects of vector calculus are reviewed in the Appendix).

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  • 1. Overview: The Organization of the Book

    Part A. Special Relativity
    2. The K-Calculus
    3. The Key Attributes of Special Relativity
    4. The Elements of Relativistic Mechanics

    Part B. The Formalism of Tensors
    5. Tensor Algebra
    6. Tensor Calculus
    7. Integration, Variation, and Symmetry

    Part C. General Relativity
    8. Special Relativity Revisited
    9. The Principles of General Relativity
    10. The Field Equations of General Relativity
    11. General Relativity from a Variation Principle
    12. The Energy-Momentum Tensor
    13. The Structure of the Field Equations
    14. The Schwarzschild Solution
    15. Experimental Tests of General Relativity

    Part D. Black Holes
    16. Non-Rotating Black Holes
    17. Maximal Extension and Conformal Compactification
    18. Charged Black Holes
    19. Rotating Black Holes

    Part E. Gravitational Waves
    20. Plane Gravitational Waves
    21. Radiation from an Isolated Source
    Part F. Cosmology
    22. Relativistic Cosmology
    23. Cosmological Models
  • Citation
    • Full Title: Principles of Astrophysics. Using Gravity and Stellar Physics to Explore the Cosmos
    • Author/s:
    • ISBN-10: 1461492351
    • ISBN-13: 9781461492368
    • Edition: 1st Edition
    • Publication date: 2014
    • Topic: Physics
    • Subtopic: Astronomy
    • File Type: eBook
    • Idioma: English

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