Galaxies in the Universe: An Introduction / Edition 2

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This textbook provides a comprehensive and lucid modern introduction to galaxies for advanced undergraduate students in astronomy and physics. Basic astrophysics, multiwavelength observations and theoretical concepts are carefully combined to develop a thorough and integrated understanding. All the necessary background astronomy is included and mathematics has been kept to the minimum required to enable the student to grasp the essence of a calculation, or the basis for a method. Techniques for observation and measurement are clearly explained, with a critical review of their limits and accuracy. Exciting topics such as gravitational lensing, dark matter and galactic collisions and mergers are also covered. The clear and friendly style of the text, thorough coverage of fundamentals, extensive use of up-to-date observations, and helpful problems make this an ideal introduction to galaxies and an excellent preparation for more advanced texts and the research literature.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book fills in a critical need in the undergraduate astronomy curriculum. It is a perfect fit to advanced astronomy/physics majors. It also catches the most important and most fascinating current topics and recent discoveries and introduces them in the broad framework of modern extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. Most importantly, the book does an excellent job in showing students how to solve contemporary research problems with the physics they have already learned and how basic physics principles can go a long way in understanding some of the most complex phenomena in the Universe. The Second Edition includes some of the most exciting recent discoveries in astronomy and makes it an extremely timely textbook."
Xiaohui Fan, Steward Observatory, The University of Arizona

"Sparke and Gallagher have produced a remarkably comprehensive and easy-to-read account of extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. Aimed at third and fourth year undergraduates, but invaluable for researchers at all levels, frontier topics in this exciting and popular area of astronomy are discussed with admirable clarity, with the physical principles carefully explained and well-illustrated."
Richard Ellis, Steele Professor of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology

"Sparke and Gallagher have successfully distilled a large, complex, and rapidly growing subject into a highly readable and self-contained textbook. It skillfully introduces the fundamentals of extragalactic astronomy and stellar dynamics, while engaging the interest of readers with their up-to-date account of the observational and theoretical work in the subject. It will serve as a superb advanced textbook for an undergraduate course in astronomy and astrophysics, as well as a valuable reference source for graduate students and researchers, in astronomy and physics. I will keep it close at hand on my own bookshelf."
Robert Kennicutt, Plumian Professor of Astronomy, University of Cambridge

Galaxies in the Universe is more than its title suggests. It has all the ingredients needed for a comprehensive senior-level course on galaxies, including the necessary background technology, stellar astrophysics and dynamical and cosmological theory. The book is full of interesting problems aimed at broadening the reader’s understanding. Galaxies in the Universe is an excellent text: I use it for my senior class and can strongly recommend it.
Ken Freeman, Duffield Professor, The Australian National University

"The scope of the book is impressive indeed. It is sure to find its way onto the desks of astronomers and astrophysicists around the world who are looking for key resources to teach senior physics undergraduates and even first-year graduate students. In the intervening years between the first edition of the text and this new one, research on galaxies everywhere and at all redshifts has proliferated enormously. It accurately conveys the present sense of excitement and anticipation at still more advances just around the corner … The writing style is energetic, yet also remarkably compact: single sentences on page after page convey whole trains of embedded logic as if the authors cannot wait to get on to the next point. All in all, this book is a welcome and major accomplishment."
William E. Harris, Professor of Astrophysics, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521671866
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 442
  • Sales rank: 663,458
  • Product dimensions: 6.97 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Sparke is a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

John Gallagher is the W. W. Morgan Professor of Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin and is Editor of the Astronomical Journal.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
1.1 The stars 2
1.2 Our Milky Way 24
1.3 Other galaxies 32
1.4 Galaxies in the expanding Universe 40
1.5 The pregalactic era: a brief history of matter 44
2 Mapping our Milky Way 51
2.1 The solar neighborhood 51
2.2 The stars in the Galaxy 59
2.3 Galactic rotation 78
3 The orbits of the stars 95
3.1 Motion under gravity 96
3.2 Why the Galaxy isn't bumpy: two-body relaxation 107
3.3 Orbits of disk stars: epicycles 116
3.4 The collisionless Boltzmann equation 122
4 Our backyard: the Local Group 132
4.1 Satellites of the Milky Way 137
4.2 Spirals of the Local Group 150
4.3 How did the Local Group galaxies form? 154
4.4 Dwarf galaxies in the Local Group 164
4.5 Past and future of the Local Group 169
5 Spiral and SO galaxies 172
5.1 The distribution of starlight 173
5.2 Observing the gas 187
5.3 Gas motions and the masses of disk galaxies 194
Interlude: the sequence of disk galaxies 203
5.4 Spiral arms and galactic bars 205
5.5 Bulges and centers of disk galaxies 217
5.6 Groups: the homes of disk galaxies 221
6 Elliptical galaxies 231
6.1 Photometry 232
6.2 Motions of the stars 245
6.3 Stellar populations and gas 257
6.4 Dark matter and black holes 264
6.5 Galaxy clusters: the domain of elliptical galaxies 267
7 Large-scale distribution of galaxies 281
7.1 Observations of large-scale structure 282
7.2 Expansion of a homogeneous Universe 292
7.3 Growth of structure: peculiar motions 298
7.4 Growth of structure: clusters, walls, and voids 305
8 Active galactic nuclei and the early history of galaxies 313
8.1 Active galactic nuclei 314
8.2 Quasar absorption lines 337
8.3 The first galaxies 345
App. A: Units and conversions 361
App. B: Bibliography 364
App. C: Hints for problems 366
Index 373
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