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An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics (2nd Edition) Hardcover – Jul 18 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1400 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley; 2 edition (July 18 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805304029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805304022
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 19.6 x 5.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #144,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy R. Durelle on June 6 2009
Format: Hardcover
The book is intimidating in it's size but the content is very easy to follow and is ordered in a logical sense. It assumes an undergraduate background in physics and mathematics - a must for graduate students!
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Amazon.com: 21 reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
The long awaited new edition of BOB (Big Orange Book) Dec 8 2006
By John Matlock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The number of books suitable for undergraduate courses in Astrophysics is not great. But of them all, this, called BOB (Big Orange Book) is the best.

This new second edition, badly needed since the first edition is now ten years old. In these ten years, there seems to have been just about as much discovered as in the centuries before. To list just a few: extrasolar planets, objects bigger than Pluto but further out (but the book was finished before the IAU decided to downgrade Pluto from being a planet), Spirit and Opportunity have been roving on Mars, discoveries like the universe is not slowing down but, rather, is actually accelerating, Dark energy wasn't even imagined at that time (and isn't easy to imagine now).

The book is aimed at the advanced undergraduate level after the student has had several previous physics classes and mathematics through differential equasions.

The one problem most often reported about BOB is its size, 1400 pages. This allows for a series of different courses to be taught using the same book by selecting appropriate chapters. Alternatively a full year course can be taught to cover most of the book.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Dec 8 2007
By Dr. Lee D. Carlson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Any instructor who has used the first edition of this book can attest to its fine quality of presentation and its didactic power. The second edition continues this tradition, and in addition offers more material that reflects the many discoveries and developments in astrophysics that have taken place since the first edition. The observational tools in astronomy have become even more refined over the years since the first edition along with computing power, and these two facts combined with a robust community of theoreticians have pushed the limits of astrophysical knowledge. This book is of course a sizable one, and this reviewer did not read it in its entirety, but instead focused on those sections that addressed the new developments since the first edition.

One of the interesting topics that are discussed in the book whose explanation was not found in the first edition is that of gamma ray bursts. After a brief historical discussion of their first detection, the authors address the question as to the origin of the bursts, i.e. whether galactic or extragalactic. They perform some rudimentary calculations that show how energetic the bursts must be if they were located in the solar system or from a distant galaxy. Early thinking on the cause of gamma ray bursts associated them with neutron stars, but the authors explain the problems with this explanation, and most interestingly, give arguments that support the assertion that there is an edge to the distribution of the gamma sources. Clever observational techniques resulted in the conclusion that gamma ray bursts are extragalactic. The `collapsar' and `supranova' models of gamma ray bursts are discussed, but the discussion is way too brief for those who want the in-depth details of these models. However the authors give up-to-date references for readers who want to dig deeper. From a perusal of these references it is apparent that the supranova model has gained the most popularity at the present time, even though some of the observations cannot as yet be reconciled with this model.

Another topic of great current interest is that of dark matter, which is discussed in the last chapter of the book, and which the authors describe as one of the most important theoretical issues in cosmological astrophysics. This discussion is also short, but references are given, and its inclusion since the first edition reflects the theoretical interest. The paucity of experimental evidence for the candidates of dark matter has stymied theoretical developments, with most of the effort devoted to putting bounds on the candidates, such as axions and weakly interacting massive particles.

No doubt this book will continue to be used in the classroom in years to come, and new discoveries will be included in future editions. With the CERN collider coming on line in the next few years, everyone interested will see the interplay between high-energy physics and astrophysics. The collider will give the theoretical astrophysical community new bounds on cosmological quantities, and in fact may open up whole new lines of research, all of it exciting, and proof positive that the twenty-first century is the most exciting time to be alive.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Serious Students of Astrophysics: This Should Be in Your Library July 12 2010
By DONALD B. Douglass - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a graduate student (2008) with a BA degree in geoscience/astronomy. I have had Carroll and Ostlie's (C-O) "An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics" or as we students referred to it: "Bob" (for Big Orange Book) both first and second editions, for over 10 years and I find that I consult it often: e.g. when I get stuck on a concept such as spectral line-widths or absorption line wings and depths. The math is there and can be intimidating, but folks, you can't learn the phenomena behind the things you see in telescopes or hear on the news unless you know a bit of math! A normal introductory astronomy textbook just does not have the depth of explanation that C-O 2ed has.
Great things about this book:
1.) It is pretty complete giving a bit of historical insight into astronomy all the way through Celestial Dynamics, the Solar System, Galaxies and the Universe, Cosmology plus modern Lambda Cold Dark Matter (CDM), the current consensus model of the universe's structure and possible fate.
2.) The physics are covered in-line in the text meaning, contextually and in an applied manner. An example is the Radiative Processes (bound-bound, bound-free, free-free, and Electron-scattering are covered in Chapter 9 applied to opacity in stellar atmospheres. This is the best way for astronomers to learn the supporting physics as opposed to the author just throwing out the theory with its arcane math as an "exercise for the student" to apply!.
3.) The authors have given consistent ongoing support for the text on a website with errata, supporting diagrams as download-able .jpegs, plus all of the data (constants, planetary info, etc) in download-able datafiles. I just applied over 100 corrections for typos that the authors have collected on the second edition!
This one feature is worth the price of the text and it wasn't cheap! I have to say that, in my many years as a student of science, that "An Introduction to Astrophysics, 2Ed" is almost unique in its ongoing support of the text with errata corrections.
4.) Be warned: there are no trivial problems at the ends of the chapters in my experience. No "plug and chug" calculations. I have learned there is a solutions manual and I am working on acquiring that. The problems start at a challenging level for first year graduate astrophysics students and go up from there. You might not get an answer after working for some hours on these problems, but you will learn a lot in the process!
In summary, there is no text I have found of comparable scope, written with more effective pedagogical technique, and with more lasting value for the serious astrophysics student than "An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics, 2nd Ed" by Carroll and Ostlie.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Slow digestion necessary March 20 2011
By calvinnme - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Don't let the huge size fool you - this is indeed more of a textbook than a reference. However, it does require slow digestion of the material. Any instructor thinking they can cover this in one semester is biting off more than his students can chew. What is annoying is the lack of a table of contents. I present that information next.

Part I The Tools of Astronomy 1
Chapter 1 The Celestial Sphere 2
1.1 The Greek Tradition 2
1.2 The Copernican Revolution 5
1.3 Positions on the Celestial Sphere 8
1.4 Physics and Astronomy 19
Chapter 2 Celestial Mechanics 23
2.1 Elliptical Orbits 23
2.3 Kepler's Laws Derived 39
2.4 The Virial Theorem 50
Chapter 3 The Continuous Spectrum of Light 57
3.1 Stellar Parallax 57
3.2 The Magnitude Scale 60
3.3 The Wave Nature of Light 63
3.4 Blackbody Radiation 68
3.5 The Quantization of Energy 71
3.6 The Color Index 75
Chapter 4 The Theory of Special Relativity 84
4.1 The Failure of the Galilean Transformations 84
4.2 The Lorentz Transformations 87
4.3 Time and Space in Special Relativity 92
4.4 Relativistic Momentum and Energy 102
Chapter 5 The Interaction of Light and Matter 111
5.1 Spectral Lines 111
5.2 Photons 116
5.3 The Bohr Model of the Atom 119
5.4 Quantum Mechanics and Wave--Particle Duality 127
Chapter 6 Telescopes 141
6.1 Basic Optics 141
6.2 Optical Telescopes 154
6.3 Radio Telescopes 161
6.4 Infrared, Ultraviolet, X-ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy 167
6.5 All-Sky Surveys and Virtual Observatories 170
Part II The Nature of Stars 179
Chapter 7 Binary Systems and Stellar Parameters 180
7.1 The Classification of Binary Stars 180
7.2 Mass Determination Using Visual Binaries 183
7.3 Eclipsing, Spectroscopic Binaries 186
7.4 The Search for Extrasolar Planets 195
Chapter 8 The Classification of Stellar Spectra 202
8.1 The Formation of Spectral Lines 202
8.2 The Hertzsprung--Russell Diagram 219
Chapter 9 Stellar Atmospheres 231
9.1 The Description of the Radiation Field 231
9.2 Stellar Opacity 238
9.3 Radiative Transfer 251
9.4 The Transfer Equation 255
9.5 The Profiles of Spectral Lines 267
Chapter 10 The Interiors of Stars 285
10.1 Hydrostatic Equilibrium 285
10.2 Pressure Equation of State 289
10.3 Stellar Energy Sources 297
10.4 Energy Transport and Thermodynamics 316
10.5 Stellar Model Building 330
10.6 The Main Sequence 341
Chapter 11 The Sun 350
11.1 The Solar Interior 350
11.2 The Solar Atmosphere 361
11.3 The Solar Cycle 382
Chapter 12 The Interstellar Medium and Star Formation 399
12.1 Interstellar Dust and Gas 399
12.2 The Formation of Protostars 413
12.3 Pre-Main-Sequence Evolution 425
Chapter 13 Main Sequence and Post-Main-Sequence Stellar Evolution 448
13.1 Evolution on the Main Sequence 448
13.2 Late Stages of Stellar Evolution 459
13.3 Stellar Clusters 476
Chapter 14 Stellar Pulsation 485
14.1 Observations of Pulsating Stars 485
14.2 The Physics of Stellar Pulsation 493
14.3 Modeling Stellar Pulsation 501
14.4 Nonradial Stellar Pulsation 505
14.5 Helioseismology and Asteroseismology 511
Chapter 15 The Fate of Massive Stars 520
15.1 Post-Main-Sequence Evolution of Massive Stars 520
15.2 The Classification of Supernovae 526
15.3 Core-Collapse Supernovae 531
15.4 Gamma-Ray Bursts 545
15.5 Cosmic Rays 551
Chapter 16 The Degenerate Remnants of Stars 560
16.1 The Discovery of Sirius B 560
16.2 White Dwarfs 562
16.3 The Physics of Degenerate Matter 565
16.4 The Chandrasekhar Limit 572
16.5 The Cooling of White Dwarfs 575
16.6 Neutron Stars 580
16.7 Pulsars 589
Chapter 17 General Relativity and Black Holes 614
17.1 The General Theory of Relativity 614
17.2 Intervals and Geodesics 627
17.3 Black Holes 638
Chapter 18 Close Binary Star Systems 659
18.1 Gravity in a Close Binary Star System 659
18.2 Accretion Disks 667
18.3 A Survey of Interacting Binary Systems 674
18.4 White Dwarfs in Semidetached Binaries 679
18.5 Type Ia Supernovae 692
18.6 Neutron Stars and Black Holes in Binaries 695
Part III The Solar System 720
Chapter 19 Physical Processes in the Solar System 721
19.1 A Brief Survey 721
19.2 Tidal Forces 726
19.3 The Physics of Atmospheres 731
Chapter 20 The Terrestrial Planets 744
20.1 Mercury 744
20.2 Venus 747
20.3 Earth 753
20.4 The Moon 761
20.5 Mars 769
Chapter 21 The Realms of the Giant Planets 782
21.1 The Giant Worlds 782
21.2 The Moons of the Giants 798
21.3 Planetary Ring Systems 809
Chapter 22 Minor Bodies of the Solar System 821
22.1 Pluto and Charon 821
22.2 Comets and Kuiper Belt Objects 825
22.3 Asteroids 838
22.4 Meteorites 847
Chapter 23 Formation of Planetary Systems 857
23.1 Characteristics of Extrasolar Planetary Systems 857
23.2 Planetary System Formation and Evolution 866
Part IV Galaxies and the Universe 883
Chapter 24 The Milky Way Galaxy 885
24.1 Counting the Stars in the Sky 885
24.2 The Morphology of the Galaxy 892
24.3 The Kinematics of the Milky Way 910
24.4 The Galactic Center 934
Chapter 25 The Nature of Galaxies 953
25.1 The Hubble Sequence 953
25.2 Spirals and Irregular Galaxies 962
25.3 Spiral Structure 977
25.4 Elliptical Galaxies 997
Chapter 26 Galactic Evolution 1013
26.1 Interactions of Galaxies 1013
26.2 The Formation of Galaxies 1030
Chapter 27 The Structure of the Universe 1052
27.1 The Extragalactic Distance Scale 1052
27.2 The Expansion of the Universe 1066
27.3 Clusters of Galaxies 1072
Chapter 28 Active Galaxies 1099
28.1 Observations of Active Galaxies 1099
28.2 A Unified Model of Active Galactic Nuclei 1121
28.3 Radio Lobes and Jets 1137
28.4 Using Quasars to Probe the Universe 1145
Chapter 29 Cosmology 1160
29.1 Newtonian Cosmology 1160
29.2 The Cosmic Microwave Background 1179
29.3 Relativistic Cosmology 1199
29.4 Observational Cosmology 1215
Chapter 30 The Early Universe 1248
30.1 The Very Early Universe and Inflation 1248
30.2 The Origin of Structure 1265
Appendix A Astronomical and Physical Constants 1296
Appendix B Unit Conversions 1299
Appendix C Solar System Data 1301
Appendix D The Constellations 1303
Appendix E The Brightest Stars 1305
Appendix F The Nearest Stars 1307
Appendix G Stellar Data 1309
Appendix H The Messier Catalog 1314
Appendix I Constants, A Programming Module 1317
Appendix J Orbit, A Planetary Orbit Code 1318
Appendix K TwoStars, A Binary Star Code 1319
Appendix L StatStar, A Stellar Structure Code 1325
Appendix M Galaxy, A Tidal Interaction Code 1329
Appendix N WMAP Data 1332
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A Book of Astronomical Proportions April 29 2009
By John Warwick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is incredibly ambitious. It strives to teach you just about the entirety of Modern Astrophysics in one comprehensive text. Any further pursuits would simply be delving into more detail of one of the topics covered. Therefore, it's the ideal reference book for anyone interested in the subject.

After surveying what's currently available and what's being used by professors, it's widely agreed to be the proper text to prepare you for a graduate pursuit of the subject.

For those reasons, I picked it up because I wanted the best book to teach myself Astrophysics. With a decent background in physics, and mathematical competency in the Calc III/DE area, I was able to follow along very well, and completed the book in about 4 months (but skipped many of the problems).

As a whole the book is supreme in content, organization, clarity, and level of detail considering the range of information it covers. My only complaint throughout (and primarily because I was studying it on my own) is that there are no solutions provided or available to the general public. Nevertheless, the problems are challenging and fun to think about. As you go through them and the chapters, Carroll & Ostlie will bring you to the brink of what's known in the areas being described, will be clear about what's still being dealt with in the field, and will leave you wanting to look into each of the current unresolved issues at a deeper level.

Because of these reasons, Introduction to Modern Astrophysics 2nd ed. achieved what I've only encountered once before in regards to a text of such astronomical proportions (the other being Molecular Biology of the Cell 4th ed.), that even after 1200+ pages, it left me wanting much, much more.

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