Stars A Very Short Introduction

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Stars A Very Short Introduction

Author : Andrew King
ISBN : 9780191633843
Genre : Science
File Size : 90.76 MB
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Every atom of our bodies has been part of a star. Our very own star, the Sun, is crucial to the development and sustainability of life on Earth. This Very Short Introduction presents a modern, authoritative examination of how stars live, producing all the chemical elements beyond helium, and how they die, sometimes spectacularly, to end as remnants such as black holes. Andrew King shows how understanding the stars is key to understanding the galaxies they inhabit, and thus the history of our entire Universe, as well as the existence of planets like our own. King presents a fascinating exploration of the science of stars, from the mechanisms that allow stars to form and the processes that allow them to shine, as well as the results of their inevitable death. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

Astrophysics A Very Short Introduction

Author : James Binney
ISBN : 9780198752851
Genre : Science
File Size : 52.60 MB
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Astrophysics is the physics of the stars, and more widely the physics of the Universe. It enables us to understand the structure and evolution of planetary systems, stars, galaxies, interstellar gas, and the cosmos as a whole. In this Very Short Introduction, the leading astrophysicist James Binney shows how the field of astrophysics has expanded rapidly in the past century, with vast quantities of data gathered by telescopes exploiting all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, combined with the rapid advance of computing power, which has allowed increasingly effective mathematical modelling. He illustrates how the application of fundamental principles of physics - the consideration of energy and mass, and momentum - and the two pillars of relativity and quantum mechanics, has provided insights into phenomena ranging from rapidly spinning millisecond pulsars to the collision of giant spiral galaxies. This is a clear, rigorous introduction to astrophysics for those keen to cut their teeth on a conceptual treatment involving some mathematics. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable
Category: Science

Hollywood

Author : Peter Decherney
ISBN : 9780199943548
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 77.42 MB
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"Peter Decherney tells the story of Hollywood, from its nineteenth-century origins to the emergence of internet media empires. Using well-known movies, stars, and directors, the book shows that the elements we take to be a natural part of the Hollywood experience--stars, genre-driven storytelling, blockbuster franchises, etc.--are the product of cultural, political, and commercial forces"--
Category: Social Science

Nuclear Physics

Author : Frank Close
ISBN : 9780198718635
Genre : Science
File Size : 72.3 MB
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Frank Close describes the historical development of nuclear physics, our understanding of the nucleus, how nuclei form, and the applications of the field in medicine. Exploring key concepts, he shows how nuclear physics brings the physics of the stars to Earth.
Category: Science

The History Of Astronomy A Very Short Introduction

Author : Michael Hoskin
ISBN : 9780191577734
Genre : Science
File Size : 37.76 MB
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Astronomy, perhaps the first of the sciences, was already well developed by the time of Christ. Seventeen centuries later, after Newton showed that the movements of the planets could be explained in terms of gravitation, it became the paradigm for the mathematical sciences. In the nineteenth century the analysis of star-light allowed astrophysicists to determine both the chemical composition and the radial velocities of celestial bodies, while the development of photography enabled distant objects invisible to the human eye, to be studied and measured in comfort. Technical developments during and since the Second World War have greatly enlarged the scope of the science by permitting the study of radiation. This is a fascinating introduction to the history of Western astronomy, from prehistoric times to the origins of astrophysics in the mid-nineteenth century. Historical records are first found in Babylon and Egypt, and after two millennia the arithmetical astronomy of the Babylonians merged with the Greek geometrical approach to culminate in the Almagest of Ptolemy. This legacy was transmitted to the Latin West via Islam, and led to Copernicus's claim that the Earth is in motion. In justifying this Kepler converted astronomy into a branch of dynamics, leading to Newton's universal law of gravity. The book concludes with eighteenth- and nineteenth-century applications of Newton's law, and the first explorations of the universe of stars. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

Black Holes A Very Short Introduction

Author : Katherine Blundell
ISBN : 9780199602667
Genre : Science
File Size : 74.71 MB
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Black holes are a source of wide fascination. In this Very Short Introduction, Katherine Blundell addresses a variety of questions, including what a black hole actually is, how they are characterised and discovered, to what happens if you get too close to one. Explaining how black holes formand grow across cosmic time, as well as how many there are in the Universe, she also considers how black holes interact with matter - by stealing material that belongs to other stars, and how black holes give rise to quasars and other spectacular, yet exotic phenomena in outer space.
Category: Science

Astrobiology A Very Short Introduction

Author : David C. Catling
ISBN : 9780191665257
Genre : Science
File Size : 46.65 MB
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Astrobiology is the study of the origin and development of life on this and other planets. What fascinates people about astrobiology is that it seeks answers to long-standing unsolved questions: How quickly did life evolve on Earth and why did life persist here? Is there life elsewhere in the Solar System or beyond? The research of astrobiology has become more crucial than ever in recent decades, as biologists have discovered microbes that live in ever more extreme settings, such as bubbling hot springs, in acid, or deep within rocks. Rooted in strong and rigorous research, astrobiology incorporates the work of microbiologists, geologists, and astronomers. In this Very Short Introduction, David C. Catling introduces the origins of astrobiology and demonstrates its impact on current astronomical research and potential future discoveries. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

Gravity

Author : Timothy Clifton
ISBN : 9780198729143
Genre : Science
File Size : 83.11 MB
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In this Very Short Introduction Timothy Clifton looks at the development of our understanding of gravity since the early observations of Kepler and Newtonian theory. He discusses Einstein's theory of gravity, which now supplants Newton's, showing how it allows us to understand why the frequency of light changes as it passes through a gravitational field, why GPS satellites need their clocks corrected as they orbit the Earth, and why the orbits of distant neutron stars speed up. Today, almost 100 years after Einstein published his theory of gravity, we have even detected the waves of gravitational radiation that he predicted. Clifton concludes by considering the testing and application of general relativity in astrophysics and cosmology, and looks at dark energy and efforts such as string theory to combine gravity with quantum mechanics.
Category: Science

Galaxies A Very Short Introduction

Author : John Gribbin
ISBN : 9780191622809
Genre : Science
File Size : 26.65 MB
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Galaxies are the building blocks of the Universe: standing like islands in space, each is made up of many hundreds of millions of stars in which the chemical elements are made, around which planets form, and where on at least one of those planets intelligent life has emerged. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is just one of several hundred million other galaxies that we can now observe through our telescopes. Yet it was only in the 1920s that we realised that there is more to the Universe than the Milky Way, and that there were in fact other 'islands' out there. In many ways, modern astronomy began with this discovery, and the story of galaxies is therefore the story of modern astronomy. Since then, many exciting discoveries have been made about our own galaxy and about those beyond: how a supermassive black hole lurks at the centre of every galaxy, for example, how enormous forces are released when galaxies collide, how distant galaxies provide a window on the early Universe, and what the formation of young galaxies can tell us about the mysteries of Cold Dark Matter. In this Very Short Introduction, renowned science writer John Gribbin describes the extraordinary things that astronomers are learning about galaxies, and explains how this can shed light on the origins and structure of the Universe. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

Mathematics A Very Short Introduction

Author : Timothy Gowers
ISBN : 0192853619
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 51.63 MB
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The aim of this volume is to explain the differences between research-level mathematics and the maths taught at school. Most differences are philosophical and the first few chapters are about general aspects of mathematical thought.
Category: Mathematics

The Elements A Very Short Introduction

Author : Philip Ball
ISBN : 9780191578250
Genre : Science
File Size : 76.74 MB
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This Very Short Introduction traces the history and cultural impact of the elements on humankind, and examines why people have long sought to identify the substances around them. Looking beyond the Periodic Table, the author examines our relationship with matter, from the uncomplicated vision of the Greek philosophers, who believed there were four elements - earth, air, fire, and water - to the work of modern-day scientists in creating elements such as hassium and meitnerium. Packed with anecdotes, The Elements is a highly engaging and entertaining exploration of the fundamental question: what is the world made from? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

Matter A Very Short Introduction

Author : Geoff Cottrell
ISBN : 9780192529176
Genre : Science
File Size : 79.74 MB
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What is matter? Matter is the stuff from which we and all the things in the world are made. Everything around us, from desks, to books, to our own bodies are made of atoms, which are small enough that a million of them can fit across the breadth of a human hair. Inside every atom is a tiny nucleus and orbiting the nucleus is a cloud of electrons. The nucleus is made out of protons and neutrons, and by zooming in further you would find that inside each there are even smaller particles, quarks. Together with electrons, the quarks are the smallest particles that have been seen, and are the indivisible fundamental particles of nature that have existed since the Big Bang, almost 14 billion years ago. The 92 different chemical elements that all normal matter is made from were forged billions of years ago in the Big Bang, inside stars, and in violent stellar explosions. This Very Short Introduction takes us on a journey from the human scale of matter in the familiar everyday forms of solids, liquids, and gases to plasmas, exotic forms of quantum matter, and antimatter. On the largest scales matter is sculpted by gravity into planets, stars, galaxies, and vast clusters of galaxies. All the matter that that we normally encounter however constitutes only 5% of the matter that exists. The remaining 95% comes in two mysterious forms: dark matter, and dark energy. Dark matter is necessary to stop the galaxies from flying apart, and dark energy is needed to explain the observed acceleration of the expansion of the universe. Geoff Cottrell explores the latest research into matter, and shows that there is still a lot we don't know about the stuff our universe is made of. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

Cosmology A Very Short Introduction

Author : Peter Coles
ISBN : 9780191579448
Genre : Science
File Size : 35.29 MB
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This book is a simple, non-technical introduction to cosmology, explaining what it is and what cosmologists do. Peter Coles discusses the history of the subject, the development of the Big Bang theory, and more speculative modern issues like quantum cosmology, superstrings, and dark matter. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

Waves

Author : Mike Goldsmith
ISBN : 9780198803782
Genre : Wave mechanics
File Size : 66.78 MB
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From sound waves to gravitational waves, and from waves of light to crashing rollers on the ocean, Mike Goldsmith explores the fundamental features shared by all waves in the natural world, and considers the range of phenomena resulting from wave motion, including reflection, diffraction, and polarization in light, and beats and echoes in sound.
Category: Wave mechanics

Marine Biology A Very Short Introduction

Author : Philip V. Mladenov
ISBN : 9780191654350
Genre : Science
File Size : 28.64 MB
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The marine environment is the largest, most important, and yet most mysterious habitat on our planet. It contains more than 99% of the world's living space; produces half of its oxygen; plays a critical role in regulating its climate; and supports a remarkably diverse and exquisitely adapted array of life forms, from microscopic viruses, bacteria, and plankton to the largest existing animals. As the 21st century progresses human activities, such as overfishing, coastal development, plastic pollution, oil spills, nutrient pollution, the spread of exotic species, and the emission of climate changing greenhouse gases are posing a significant threat to the marine environment and to many of its life forms. In this unique Very Short Introduction, Philip Mladenov provides a comprehensive overview of marine biology, providing a tour of marine life and marine processes that ranges from the polar oceans to tropical coral reefs; and from the intertidal to the hydrothermal vents of the deep sea. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science

Relativity A Very Short Introduction

Author : Russell Stannard
ISBN : 019157404X
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 48.74 MB
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100 years ago, Einstein's theory of relativity shattered the world of physics. Our comforting Newtonian ideas of space and time were replaced by bizarre and counterintuitive conclusions: if you move at high speed, time slows down, space squashes up and you get heavier; travel fast enough and you could weigh as much as a jumbo jet, be squashed thinner than a CD without feeling a thing - and live for ever. And that was just the Special Theory. With the General Theory came even stranger ideas of curved space-time, and changed our understanding of gravity and the cosmos. This authoritative and entertaining Very Short Introduction makes the theory of relativity accessible and understandable. Using very little mathematics, Russell Stannard explains the important concepts of relativity, from E=mc2 to black holes, and explores the theory's impact on science and on our understanding of the universe. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Mathematics

Science Fiction A Very Short Introduction

Author : David Seed
ISBN : 9780199557455
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 59.75 MB
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David Seed examines how science fiction has emerged as a popular genre of literature in the 20th century, and discusses it in relation to themes such as science and technology, space, aliens, utopias, and gender. Looking at some of the most influential writers of the genre he also considers the wider social and political issues it raises.
Category: Fiction

Galileo A Very Short Introduction

Author : Stillman Drake
ISBN : 9780191606663
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 53.68 MB
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In a startling reinterpretation of the evidence, Stillman Drake advances the hypothesis that Galileo's trial and condemnation by the Inquisition was caused not by his defiance of the Church, but by the hostility of contemporary philosophers. Galileo's own beautifully lucid arguments are used to show how his scientific method was utterly divorced from the Aristotelian approach to physics in that it was based on a search not for causes but for laws. Galileo's method was of overwhelming significance for the development of modern physics, and led to a final parting of the ways between science and philosophy. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Sun A Very Short Introduction

Author : Philip Judge
ISBN : 9780198832690
Genre : Science
File Size : 44.74 MB
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The Sun, as our nearest star, is of enormous importance for life on Earth - providing the warm radiation and light which allowed complex life to evolve. The Sun plays a key role in influencing our climate, whilst solar storms and high-energy events can threaten our communication infrastructure and satellites. This Very Short Introduction explores what we know about the Sun, its physics, its structure, origins, and future evolution. Philip Judge explains some of the remaining puzzles about the Sun that still confound us, using elementary physics, and mathematical concepts. Why does the Sun form spots? Why does it flare? As he shows, these and other nagging difficulties relate to the Sun's continually variable magnetism, which converts an otherwise dull star into a machine for flooding interplanetary space with variable radiation, high-energy particles and magnetic ejections. Throughout, Judge highlights the many reasons that the Sun is important, and why scientists engage in solar research. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Category: Science