The Magnetic Universe: The Elusive Traces of an Invisible Force

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JHU Press, Dec 1, 2009 - Science - 312 pages
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Magnetic fields permeate our vast universe, urging electrically charged particles on their courses, powering solar and stellar flares, and focusing the intense activity of pulsars and neutron stars.

Magnetic fields are found in every corner of the cosmos. For decades, astrophysicists have identified them by their effects on visible light, radio waves, and x-rays. J. B. Zirker summarizes our deep knowledge of magnetism, pointing to what is yet unknown about its astrophysical applications.

In clear, nonmathematical prose, Zirker follows the trail of magnetic exploration from the auroral belts of Earth to the farthest reaches of space. He guides readers on a fascinating journey of discovery to understand how magnetic forces are created and how they shape the universe. He provides the historical background needed to appreciate exciting new research by introducing readers to the great scientists who have studied magnetic fields.

Students and amateur astronomers alike will appreciate the readable prose and comprehensive coverage of The Magnetic Universe.

 

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Contents

1 GETTING REACQUAINTED WITH MAGNETISM
1
2 THE EARTH
9
3 SUNSPOTS AND THE SOLAR CYCLE
31
4 THE VIOLENT SUN
59
WINDS WAVES AND FIELDS
84
6 THE EARTHS MAGNETOSPHERE AND SPACE WEATHER
113
7 THE PLANETS
141
8 MAGNETIC FIELDS AND THE BIRTH OF STARS
174
9 ABNORMAL STARS
198
10 COMPACT OBJECTS
212
11 THE GALAXIES
244
SEED FIELDS
265
Notes
281
Index
291
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About the author (2009)

J. B. Zirker is an astronomer emeritus at the National Solar Observatory and author of Total Eclipses of the Sun; Journey from the Center of the Sun; Sunquakes: Probing the Interior of the Sun; and An Acre of Glass: A History and Forecast of the Telescope, the last two published by Johns Hopkins.

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