A Concise History of Solar and Stellar Physics

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Princeton University Press, 2004 - Science - 282 pages

"Unusually well researched and well written, this book is much more than a history. Written by two active astrophysical researchers, it has the distinction of being both a thorough history and an excellent introduction to the finer points of this difficult but important field. Rather than spoonfeeding sophisticated theory to its readers, as some books do, it leads its readers through the instructive if sometimes circuitous paths that the pioneers in the field followed. It does this so well that a reader will find even the most arcane topics to be understandable in a satisfying way. I have not seen this accomplished before so expertly."--Paul W. Hodge, Editor of The Astronomical Journal, author of Higher than Everest: An Adventurer's Guide to the Solar System

"Comprehensive without being tedious, this book is particularly valuable--indeed, exceptional--for its presentation of important problems in the field and its stress on theoretical research. I know of no other book that treats the history of stellar physics in such depth. It will broaden the perspective of students who already have a working knowledge of applied math and modern physics; this, at a time when specialization has become so prominent in astronomy. As an astronomer, I enjoyed reading this book and learned a good deal outside my own specialty."--Jack B. Zirker, former Director of the National Solar Observatory, author of Journey from the Center of the Sun

 

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User Review  - dinu - LibraryThing

Wonderfully written book about the history and the development of stellar physics from the earliest Mesopotamian myths to the standard model. Read full review

Contents

The Age of Myths and Speculations
1
11 Ancient Egypt and the Middle East
2
The Eastern Greek School
4
The Western Greek School
6
14 The Athenian Period
7
15 The Alexandrian Period
12
16 From the Dark Age to the Renaissance
16
17 The Emergence of Modern Astronomy
22
46 The Pulsation Theory of Variable Stars II
120
47 The Early Studies of Stellar Rotation
123
48 Solar and Stellar Hydrodynamics
128
The Golden Age 19401970
133
51 Nuclear Reactions and Energy Production in Stars
135
52 Calculation of Stellar Structure
143
53 A Brief Survey of Stellar Evolution
147
54 Postgiant Evolution and Stellar Remnants
156

Three Centuries of Optical Discoveries 16101910
29
21 Distances to the Sun and the Stars
30
22 The Beginnings of Spectroscopy
33
23 The Sun as a Star
40
24 Solar Activity and Rotation
43
25 Intrinsic Properties of Stars
47
26 Binary Stars and Stellar Masses
56
27 Variable and Unusual Stars
59
28 The Rise of Astrophysics
64
The Time of Pioneers 18401910
66
31 The Puzzle of the Suns Energy
67
32 The First Solar Models
73
33 The Pulsation Theory of Variable Stars 1
79
34 The DoubleStar Problem
81
35 Early Views of Stellar Evolution
84
36 Outline of Solar Activity and Rotation
88
The NineteenthCentury Advances
91
The Formative Years 19101940
94
41 The Beginnings of Quantitative Astrophysics
96
42 The StellarEnergy Problem
100
43 The Internal Structure of Stars
103
44 Pre1938 Views of Stellar Evolution
110
45 White Dwarfs and Neutron Stars
114
55 Evolution of Close Binary Stars
166
56 The Pulsation Theory of Variable Stars III
173
57 Stellar Rotation and Magnetic Fields
177
58 The Maturing of Solar Physics
183
The Era of Specialization 1970
192
61 Single Double and Multiple Stars
193
62 EarlyType Stars
202
63 The Sun
210
64 LateType Stars
220
65 The Pulsation Theory of Variable Stars IV
228
66 Final Stages of Stellar Evolution
234
Epilogue
247
Lanes Fully Convective Gas Spheres
250
Ritters Polytropic Gas Spheres
251
Ritters Theory of Pulsating Stars
252
Radial and Nonradial Stellar Pulsations
254
Bohrs Model of the Atom
257
Einsteins MassEnergy Relation
260
Three Important Nuclear Reactions
263
General Bibliography
265
Index of Names
269
Index of Subjects
277
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About the author (2004)

Jean-Louis and Monique Tassoul received the 2001 Paul and Marie Stroobant Prize of the Académie Royale de Belgique for their work on stellar rotation and stellar stability. From 1968 to 1993, Jean-Louis, whose books include Theory of Rotating Stars (Princeton), was a faculty member of the Physics Department at the Université de Montréal.

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