Black Holes: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Katherine Blundell

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199602662

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 5848

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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.
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Galaxies: A Very Short Introduction

Author: John Gribbin

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199234345

Category: Science

Page: 121

View: 4503

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Galaxies are the building blocks of the Universe: standing like islands in space, they are where the stars are born and where extraordinary phenomena can be observed. Many exciting discoveries have been made: how a supermassive black hole lurks at the centre of every galaxy, how enormous forces are released when galaxies collide, 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.
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Stars: A Very Short Introduction

Author: A. R. King

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199602921

Category: Science

Page: 120

View: 3498

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Stars are a constant source of fascination. In this Very Short Introduction Andrew King introduces us to the science of stars; how they are born, how they live, and how they die. He shows how understanding the stars is the key to understanding the galaxies they inhabit, and how they provide us with clues to the existence of planets like our own.
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Relativity: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Russell Stannard

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191574047

Category: Mathematics

Page: 128

View: 8177

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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.
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Gravity

Author: Timothy Clifton

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198729146

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 6025

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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.
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Astrophysics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: James Binney

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198752857

Category: Science

Page: 144

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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
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Modern China: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Rana Mitter

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191068179

Category: History

Page: 168

View: 4785

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China today is never out of the news: from international finance to human rights controversies, global coverage of its rising international presence, and the Chinese 'economic miracle'. It seems to be a country of contradictions: a peasant society with some of the world's most futuristic cities, heir to an ancient civilization that is still trying to find a modern identity. This Very Short Introduction offers the reader an entry to understanding the world's most populous nation, giving an integrated picture of modern Chinese society, culture, economy, politics, and art. In this new edition, Rana Mitter addresses China's current global position, accounting for the country's growth in global significance over the past decade. 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.
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Shakespeare's Comedies: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Bart van Es

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191034959

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 144

View: 3107

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From The Two Gentlemen of Verona in the early 1590s to The Two Noble Kinsmen at the end of his career around 1614, Shakespeare wrote at least eighteen plays that can be called 'comedies': a far higher number than that for any other genre in which he wrote. So what is a Shakespearean comedy? We associate these plays with such themes as mistaken identities, happy marriages, and exuberant cross dressing, but how representative are these of the oeuvre as a whole? In this Very Short Introduction, Bart van Es explores the full range of the playwright's comic writing, from the neat classical plotting of early works like The Comedy of Errors to the corrupt world of the so-called problem plays, written in the middle years of Shakespeare's life. Examining Shakespeare's influences and sources, van Es compares his plays to those of his rivals, and looks at the history of the plays in performance, from the biographies of Shakespeare's original actors to the plays' endless reinvention in modern stage productions and in films. Identifying the key qualities that make Shakespearean comedy distinctive, van Es traces the changing nature of Shakespeare's comic writing over the course of a career that spanned nearly a quarter century of theatrical change. 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.
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The Brain: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Michael O'Shea

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192853929

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 136

View: 1639

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This is a non-technical introduction to the main issues and findings in current brain research. It gives a sense of how neuroscience addresses questions about the relationship between the brain, and thought, memories, perceptions, and actions. Covering the details of brain science in an accessible style, it includes up to date coverage of developments of brain research, and suggests directions future research might take. The Brain also integrates discussion of the more familiar implications of the brain's actions, such as memories, perceptions, and motor control.Contents:Mind and brain: what's the problelm?Let's get physicalSight, sound, and imagination'Last week's potatoes!'Perception to actionAltered states of mindWhere do we go from here?
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Black Hole Gravitohydromagnetics

Author: Brian Punsly

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 3540769579

Category: Science

Page: 399

View: 5097

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Black hole gravitohydromagnetics (GHM) is developed from the rudiments to the frontiers of research in this book. GHM describes plasma interactions that combine the effects of gravity and a strong magnetic field, in the vicinity (ergosphere) of a rapidly rotating black hole. This topic was created in response to the astrophysical quest to understand the central engines of radio loud extragalactic radio sources. The theory describes a "torsional tug of war" between rotating ergospheric plasma and the distant asymptotic plasma that extracts the rotational inertia of the black hole. The recoil from the struggle between electromagnetic and gravitational forces near the event horizon is manifested as a powerful pair of magnetized particle beams (jets) that are ejected at nearly the speed of light. This second edition of the book is updated throughout and contains a completely new chapter discussing state of the art and results of numerical simulations of ergospheric disk jets occurring in magnetohydrodynamic accretion flows.
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