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Astrophysics for Physicists [Hardcover]

Arnab Rai Choudhuri

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Book Description

April 30 2010 0521815533 978-0521236379
Designed for teaching astrophysics to physics students at advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate level, this textbook also provides an overview of astrophysics for astrophysics graduate students, before they delve into more specialized volumes. Assuming background knowledge at the level of a physics major, the textbook develops astrophysics from the basics without requiring any previous study in astronomy or astrophysics. Physical concepts, mathematical derivations and observational data are combined in a balanced way to provide a unified treatment. Topics such as general relativity and plasma physics, which are not usually covered in physics courses but used extensively in astrophysics, are developed from first principles. While the emphasis is on developing the fundamentals thoroughly, recent important discoveries are highlighted at every stage.

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"At last! An astrophysics textbook for physics majors that does not shy away from fluids, plasmas, and general relativity. With transparent physical reasoning and beautifully clear writing throughout, this book should become the standard for advanced undergraduate courses, and recommended reading for beginning graduate students. An outstanding complement to Choudhuri's previous masterwork, The Physics of Fluids and Plasmas."
Professor Mitchell C. Begelman, University of Colorado, and author of Gravity's Fatal Attraction: Black Holes in the Universe

"An outstanding textbook. Choudhuri provides a lucid treatment of key physical principles underlying various branches of modern astrophysics. This book should be required reading for any serious student or practitioner of physics. Indeed, many insightful discussions in the book would be useful even to professional astrophysicists."
Professor Ramesh Narayan, Harvard University

"This book is distinguished by a winning combination of breadth and depth. It provides an exposition of the main topics of modern astrophysics, including subjects that have not been traditionally covered in textbooks of this kind (such as stellar dynamics, plasma astrophysics, physical cosmology and general relativity). Each of the main topics is presented in sufficient detail - emphasizing the basic physics and including relevant exercises - for the reader to gain a basic understanding and likely also an appetite for further study (for which ample references and guidance are given). A similar approach was adopted in Choudhuri's previous textbook - The Physics of Fluids and Plasmas - which has been very popular with my students."
Professor Arieh Königl, University of Chicago

"In my opinion this is an excellent book that could be used in a core course to physicists ... I feel that the topics covered will make an exciting course, since the book is set at the right level, with emphasis on basic derivations, physical explanations, and experimental data."
Professor Rajat Bhaduri, Physics in Canada

"... a valuable acquisition for academic libraries and all serious physics students. The exposition is lucid, and the book explores the fundamental material in sufficient detail, making it useful as a self-contained work that will provide undergraduates with a good understanding of the central topics in astrophysics. Highly recommended."

"... a very thoughtfully prepared textbook that appears to come very close to its ambitious goal of covering the 'whole of astrophysics' for physicists."
Peter W. Milonni, Contemporary Physics

"As one would anticipate from the author's background in solar magnetohydrodynamics, Astrophysics for Physicists contains good passages on fluids, plasmas, magnetic fields, and general relativity, and it provides strong mathematically based discussions of many of the important areas of astrophysics. It stresses theory, but also discusses several experimental and observational topics ... To Choudhuri's credit, the book is overall fairly up to date in most areas ... [It] represents a useful learning framework and theoretical reference tool for the newcomer and a quick reference for those working in related areas. Overall I rate it as a solid up-to-date text."
Professor George Smoot, Nobel laureate, Physics Today

Book Description

Designed for teaching astrophysics to physics students at advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate level, this textbook develops astrophysics from the basics without requiring any previous study in astronomy or astrophysics. Topics not usually covered in physics courses, such as general relativity and plasma physics, are developed from first principles.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the good introductory texts March 22 2011
By Revanchist - Published on
This is one of the better introductory texts in Astrophysics out in the market. I wouldn't call it the best but it's certainly very good. The good thing about the book is that it is at a higher level than books such as Maoz (2007), Shore (2002) and Harwit (2006).

I feel that a pretty good balance of mathematical rigor, selection and presentation of various topics
and physical insight has been achieved. And furthermore, the writing was lucid and equally impressive was its coverage of topics such as plasmas, relativistic cosmology, etc. In particular I found the
chapters on "Stellar Astrophysics" (I and II), "Extragalactic Astronomy" and "Our Galaxy" to be particularly good. The chapter on "Plasma Astrophysics" was unsurprisingly excellent was well given that the author is an expert in this field. Although the discussion on General Relativity was elementary and somewhat haphazard, it still manages to convey the essentials.

The reason it falls short of 5 stars is that the scope of topics is a little too vast to be covered in rigorous detail and because of the fact that it lacks a section on observational astrophysics.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Deal Dec 3 2011
By Rizzle - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Choudhuri's Astrophysics text is the real deal. The approach to astrophysical phenomena is rooted in the underlying physics and communicated in a mathematically precise but carefully explanatory way. Graduate students will be learning from Choudhuri for a long time to come. Enjoy!

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