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Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour

by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Michael Strauss and J Richard Gott Princeton University Press
Pub Date:
Hbk 480 pages
AU$109.99 NZ$113.90
Product Status: Not Our Publication - we no longer distribute
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Welcome to the Universe is a personal guided tour of the cosmos by three of today's leading astrophysicists. Inspired by the enormously popular introductory astronomy course that Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss, and J. Richard Gott taught together at Princeton, this book covers it all--from planets, stars, and galaxies to black holes, wormholes, and time travel.


Describing the latest discoveries in astrophysics, the informative and entertaining narrative propels you from our home solar system to the outermost frontiers of space. How do stars live and die? Why did Pluto lose its planetary status? What are the prospects for intelligent life elsewhere in the universe? How did the universe begin? Why is it expanding and why is its expansion accelerating? Is our universe alone or part of an infinite multiverse? Answering these and many other questions, the authors open your eyes to the wonders of the cosmos, sharing their knowledge of how the universe works.


Breathtaking in scope and stunningly illustrated throughout, Welcome to the Universe is for those who hunger for insights into our evolving universe that only world-class astrophysicists can provide.




Preface 11
Part I Stars, Planets, and Life 15
1 The Size and Scale of the Universe 17
Neil deGrasse Tyson
2 From the Day and Night Sk y to Planetary Orbits 26
Neil deGrasse Tyson
3 Newton’s Laws 42
Michael A. Strauss
4 How Stars Radiate Energy (I) 54
Neil deGrasse Tyson
5 How Stars Radiate Energy (II ) 71
Neil deGrasse Tyson
6 Stellar Spectra 81
Neil deGrasse Tyson
7 The Lives and Deaths of Stars (I) 93
Neil deGrasse Tyson
8 The Lives and Deaths of Stars (II ) 111
Michael A. Strauss
9 Why Pluto Is Not a Planet 126
Neil deGrasse Tyson
10 The Search for Life in the Galaxy 146
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Part II Galaxies 171
11 The Interstellar Medium 173
Michael A. Strauss
12 Our Milk y Way 183
Michael A. Strauss
13 The Universe of Galaxies 197
Michael A. Strauss
14 The Expansion of the Universe 207
Michael A. Strauss
15 The Early Universe 222
Michael A. Strauss
16 Quasars and Supermassive Black Holes 241
Michael A. Strauss
Part III Einstein and the Universe 255
17 Einstein’s Road to Relativity 257
J. Richard Gott
18 Implications of Special Relativity 270
J. Richard Gott
19 Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity 289
J. Richard Gott
20 Black Holes 300
J. Richard Gott
21 Cosmic Strings, Wormholes, and Time Travel 321
J. Richard Gott
22 The Shape of the Universe and the Big Bang 347
J. Richard Gott
23 Inflation and Recent Developments in Cosmology 374
J. Richard Gott
24 Our Future in the Universe 400
J. Richard Gott
Acknowledgments 425
Appendix 1 Derivation of E = mc 2 427
Appendix 2 Bekenstein, Entropy of Black Holes, and Information 431
Notes 433
Suggested Reading 439
Index 441

"Readers will enjoy the big ideas in this lively and enjoyable book."--Robert P. Kirshner, author of The Extravagant Universe  


"All three of these authors are experts in the field, and they are also engaging writers. This is a very good book. There is nothing on the market that quite matches it."--Sean Carroll, author of The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World  


"As an astronomer, I admire the clever and artful way so much frontier cosmology is covered in this book. I enjoyed reading it immensely."--Chris Impey, coauthor of Dreams of Other Worlds: The Amazing Story of Unmanned Space Exploration
Neil deGrasse Tyson is director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the author of many books, including Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, and the host of the Emmy Award-winning documentary Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Michael A. Strauss is professor of astrophysics at Princeton University. J. Richard Gott is professor of astrophysics at Princeton University. His books include The Cosmic Web: Mysterious Architecture of the Universe (Princeton).