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The Cosmic Century
A History of Astrophysics and Cosmology

$56.00 (G)

  • Date Published: January 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107669369

$ 56.00 (G)

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About the Authors
  • The twentieth-century witnessed the development of astrophysics and cosmology from subjects which scarcely existed to two of the most exciting and demanding areas of contemporary scientific inquiry. In this book Malcolm Longair reviews the historical development of the key areas of modern astrophysics, linking the strands together to show how they have led to the extraordinarily rich panorama of modern astrophysics and cosmology. While many of the great discoveries were derived from pioneering observations, the emphasis is upon the development of theoretical concepts and how they came to be accepted. These advances have led astrophysicists and cosmologists to ask some of the deepest questions about the nature of our Universe and have pushed astronomical observations to the very limit. This is a fantastic story, and one which would have defied the imaginations of even the greatest story-tellers.

    • An engaging, thematic history of the development of astrophysics and cosmology through the twentieth century and beyond by a leading physicist
    • Covers the whole swathe of subjects, from stars to galaxies and cosmology, highlighting the major contributions by individuals and research groups across the world
    • The paperback edition has been updated to include new material, such as the discovery of the Higgs boson
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "The book is written in a clear, concise manner at a level suitable for undergraduates...With its exhaustive bibliography and careful indexing, this excellent book is destined to be come an important and familiar resource." -- Choice

    "...Malcolm Longair has written a very timely book, directed toward students, researchers, and lecturers; I enjoyed experiencing all three roles while reading it. It is a lucid and in-depth presentation of the subject and introduces topics at various levels of complexity.... Longair's style very effectively engages the reader in the story of this wonderful adventure of the human mind."
    Riccardo Giacconi, Physics Today

    2007 Outstanding Academic Title -- Choice Magazine

    "...a sweeping overview of our progress in understanding the univesre, made during the 20th century...I found this book to be an excellent overview." --Review from the Online Bookstore of the American Association of Variable Star Observers

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107669369
    • length: 562 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 175 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.93kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Stars and Stellar Evolution up to the Second World War:
    1. The legacy of the nineteenth century
    2. The classification of stellar spectra
    3. Stellar structure and evolution
    4. The end points of stellar evolution
    Part II. The Large-Scale Structure of the Universe, 1900–39:
    5. The Galaxy and the nature of spiral nebulae
    6. The origins of astrophysical cosmology
    Part III. The Opening up of the Electromagnetic Spectrum:
    7. The opening up of the electromagnetic spectrum and the new astronomies
    Part IV. The Astrophysics of Stars and Galaxies since 1945:
    8. Stars and stellar evolution
    9. The physics of the interstellar medium
    10. The physics of galaxies and clusters of galaxies
    11. High-energy astrophysics
    Part V. Astrophysical Cosmology since 1945:
    12. Astrophysical cosmology
    13. The determination of cosmological parameters
    14. The evolution of galaxies and active galaxies with cosmic epoch
    15. The origin of galaxies and the large-scale structure of the Universe
    16. The very early Universe
    Name index
    Object index
    Subject index.

  • Author

    Malcolm S. Longair, University of Cambridge
    Malcolm Longair is Emeritus Jacksonian Professor of Natural Philosophy and Director of Development at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. He has held many highly distinguished positions within physics and astronomy and has served on and chaired many international committees, boards and panels, working with both NASA and the European Space Agency. He has received much recognition for his work, including the Pilkington Prize of the University of Cambridge for Excellence in Teaching and a CBE in the millennium honours list for his services to astronomy and cosmology. His previous well-received books for Cambridge University Press include Theoretical Concepts in Physics (2003), The Cosmic Century: A History of Astrophysics and Cosmology (2005) and High Energy Astrophysics (2011).

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