Cosmic Catastrophes: Exploding Stars, Black Holes, and Mapping the Universe / Edition 2

Cosmic Catastrophes: Exploding Stars, Black Holes, and Mapping the Universe / Edition 2

5.0 1
by J. Craig Wheeler
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0521857147

ISBN-13: 9780521857147

Pub. Date: 01/28/2007

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

In this tour de force, renowned astrophysicist and author J. Craig wheeler takes us on a breathtaking journey to supernovae, black holes, gamma-ray bursts and adventures in hyperspace. This is an enthusiastic exploration of ideas at the cutting edge of current astrophysics. Wheeler follows the tortuous life of a star from birth to evolution and death, and goes

Overview

In this tour de force, renowned astrophysicist and author J. Craig wheeler takes us on a breathtaking journey to supernovae, black holes, gamma-ray bursts and adventures in hyperspace. This is an enthusiastic exploration of ideas at the cutting edge of current astrophysics. Wheeler follows the tortuous life of a star from birth to evolution and death, and goes on to consider the complete collapse of a star into a black hole, worm-hole time machines, the possible birth of baby bubble universes, and the prospect of a revolutionary view of space and time in a ten-dimensional string theory. Along the way he offers evidence that suggests the Universe is accelerating and describes recent developments in understanding gamma-ray bursts—perhaps the most catastrophic cosmic events of all. With the use of lucid analogies, simple language and crystal-clear cartoons, Cosmic Catastrophes makes accessible some of the most exciting ideas in the Universe.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521857147
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
01/28/2007
Edition description:
Revised
Pages:
356
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.87(d)

Table of Contents


Preface     xi
Setting the stage: star formation and hydrogen burning in single stars     1
Introduction     1
Background     2
Evolution     16
Stellar death: the inexorable grip of gravity     27
Red giants     27
Stellar winds     32
Quantum deregulation     35
Core collapse     37
Transfiguration     39
Dancing with stars: binary stellar evolution     42
Multiple stars     42
Stellar orbits     43
Roche lobes: the cult symbol     44
The first stage of binary evolution: the Algol paradox     46
Mass transfer     47
Large separation     50
Small separation     50
Evolution of the second star     51
Common-envelope phase     52
Gravitational radiation     54
Accretion disks: flat stars     55
The third object     55
How a disk forms     56
Let there be light - and X-rays     58
A source of friction     58
A life of its own     61
Fat centers? the DAF zoo     65
White dwarfs: quantumdots     68
Single white dwarfs     68
Cataclysmic variables     69
The origin of cataclysmic variables     72
The final evolution of cataclysmic variables     75
Supernovae: stellar catastrophes     79
Observations     79
The fate of massive stars     84
Element factories     87
Collapse and explosion     88
Polarization and jets: new observations and new concepts     93
Type Ia supernovae: the peculiar breed     102
Light curves: radioactive nickel     111
Supernova 1987A: lessons and enigmas     118
The large magellanic cloud awakes     118
The onset     120
Lessons from the progenitor     128
Neutrinos!     132
Neutron star?     133
The light curve     134
This cow's not spherical     135
Rings and jets     136
Other firsts     139
Neutron stars: atoms with attitude     141
History - theory leads, for once     141
The nature of pulsars - not little green men     143
Pulsars and supernovae - a game of hide and seek     147
Neutron star structure - iron skin and superfluid guts     148
Binary pulsars - "tango por dos"     152
X-rays from neutron stars - hints of a violent Universe     156
X-ray flares - a story retold     162
The Rapid Burster - none of the above     165
Millisecond pulsars     167
Soft gamma-ray repeaters - reach out and touch someone     170
Geminga     174
Black holes in theory: into the abyss     176
Why black holes?     176
The event horizon     179
Singularity     180
Being a treatise on the general nature of death within a black hole     182
Black holes in space and time     183
Black-hole evaporation: Hawking radiation     195
Fundamental properties of black holes     198
Inside black holes     199
Black holes in fact: exploring the reality     207
The search for black holes     207
Cygnus X-1     209
Other suspects     211
Black-hole X-ray novae     213
The nature of the outburst     215
Lessons from the X-rays     216
SS 433     219
Miniquasars     221
Giants among us     223
The middle ground     227
Gamma-ray bursts, black holes and the Universe: long, long ago and far, far away     229
Gamma-ray bursts: yet another cosmic mystery     229
The revolution     233
The shape of things     239
The supernova and gamma-ray-burst connection     246
The possibilities: birth pangs of black holes?     251
The short hard bursts     255
The future     258
The past in our future: the Dark Ages     259
Supernovae and the Universe     263
Our expanding Universe     263
The shape of the Universe     264
The age of the Universe     266
The fate of the Universe     269
Dark matter     270
Vacuum energy - Einstein's blunder that wasn't     272
Type Ia supernovae as calibrated candles and understood candles     273
Supernovae and cosmology     275
Acceleration!     278
The shape of the Universe revisited     281
Dark energy     282
The fate of the Universe revisited     284
Wormholes and time machines: tunnels in space and time     286
The mystery of time     286
Wormholes      286
Time machines     292
Beyond: the frontiers     297
Quantum gravity     299
When the singularity is not a singularity     302
Hyperspace perspectives     308
String theory     310
Brane worlds     317
A holographic Universe     322
Coda     326
Index     328

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Cosmic Catastrophes: Exploding Stars, Black Holes, and Mapping the Universe 0 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 0 reviews.