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Cosmic Catastrophes
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Details

  • Page extent: 358 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.68 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 523.84465
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: QB843.S95 W48 2007
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Stars
    • Supernovae
    • Black holes (Astronomy)
    • Hyperspace

Library of Congress Record

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Hardback

 (ISBN-13: 9780521857147)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$61.95 (G)
Cosmic Catastrophes Cambridge University Press
978-0-521-85714-7 - Cosmic Catastrophes - by J. Craig Wheeler
Table of Contents


Contents

Preface page xi
1 Setting the stage: star formation and hydrogen burning in single stars 1
1.1 Introduction 1
1.2 Background 2
1.3 Evolution 16
2 Stellar death: the inexorable grip of gravity 27
2.1 Red giants 27
2.2 Stellar winds 32
2.3 Quantum deregulation 35
2.4 Core collapse 37
2.5 Transfiguration 39
3 Dancing with stars: binary stellar evolution 42
3.1 Multiple stars 42
3.2 Stellar orbits 43
3.3 Roche lobes: the cult symbol 44
3.4 The first stage of binary evolution: the Algol paradox 46
3.5 Mass transfer 47
3.6 Large separation 50
3.7 Small separation 50
3.8 Evolution of the second star 51
3.9 Common-envelope phase 52
3.10 Gravitational radiation 54
4 Accretion disks: flat stars 55
4.1 The third object 55
4.2 How a disk forms 56
4.3 Let there be light – and X-rays 58
4.4 A source of friction 58
4.5 A life of its own 61
4.6 Fat centers? the DAF zoo 65
5 White dwarfs: quantum dots 68
5.1 Single white dwarfs 68
5.2 Cataclysmic variables 69
5.3 The origin of cataclysmic variables 69
5.4 The final evolution of cataclysmic variables 72
6 Supernovae: stellar catastrophes 79
6.1 Observations 79
6.2 The fate of massive stars 84
6.3 Element factories 87
6.4 Collapse and explosion 88
6.5 Polarization and jets: new observations and new concepts 93
6.6 Type Ia supernovae: the peculiar breed 102
6.7 Light curves: radioactive nickel 111
7 Supernova 1987A: lessons and enigmas 118
7.1 The large magellanic cloud awakes 118
7.2 The onset 120
7.3 Lessons from the progenitor 128
7.4 Neutrinos! 132
7.5 Neutron star? 133
7.6 The light curve 134
7.7 This cow’s not spherical 135
7.8 Rings and jets 136
7.9 Other firsts 139
8 Neutron stars: atoms with attitude 141
8.1 History – theory leads, for once 141
8.2 The nature of pulsars – not little green men 143
8.3 Pulsars and supernovae – a game of hide and seek 147
8.4 Neutron star structure – iron skin and superfluid guts 148
8.5 Binary pulsars – “tango por dos” 152
8.6 X-rays from neutron stars – hints of a violent Universe 156
8.7 X-ray flares – a story retold 162
8.8 The Rapid Burster – none of the above 165
8.9 Millisecond pulsars 167
8.10 Soft gamma-ray repeaters – reach out and touch someone 170
8.11 Geminga 174
9 Black holes in theory: into the abyss 176
9.1 Why black holes? 176
9.2 The event horizon 179
9.3 Singularity 180
9.4 Being a treatise on the general nature of death within a black hole 182
9.5 Black holes in space and time 183
9.6 Black-hole evaporation: Hawking radiation 195
9.7 Fundamental properties of black holes 198
9.8 Inside black holes 199
10 Black holes in fact: exploring the reality 207
10.1 The search for black holes 207
10.2 Cygnus X-1 209
10.3 Other suspects 211
10.4 Black-hole X-ray novae 213
10.5 The nature of the outburst 215
10.6 Lessons from the X-rays 216
10.7 SS 433 219
10.8 Miniquasars 221
10.9 Giants among us 223
10.10 The middle ground 227
11 Gamma-ray bursts, black holes and the Universe: long, long ago and far, far away 229
11.1 Gamma-ray bursts: yet another cosmic mystery 229
11.2 The revolution 233
11.3 The shape of things 239
11.4 The supernova and gamma-ray-burst connection 246
11.5 The possibilities: birth pangs of black holes? 251
11.6 The short hard bursts 255
11.7 The future 258
11.8 The past in our future: the Dark Ages 259
12 Supernovae and the Universe 263
12.1 Our expanding Universe 263
12.2 The shape of the Universe 264
12.3 The age of the Universe 266
12.4 The fate of the Universe 269
12.5 Dark matter 270
12.6 Vacuum energy – Einstein’s blunder that wasn’t 272
12.7 Type Ia supernovae as calibrated candles and understood candles 273
12.8 Supernovae and cosmology 275
12.9 Acceleration! 278
12.10 The shape of the Universe revisited 281
12.11 Dark energy 282
12.12 The fate of the Universe revisited 284
13 Wormholes and time machines: tunnels in space and time 286
13.1 The mystery of time 286
13.2 Wormholes 286
13.3 Time machines 292
14 Beyond: the frontiers 297
14.1 Quantum gravity 299
14.2 When the singularity is not a singularity 302
14.3 Hyperspace perspectives 308
14.4 String theory 310
14.5 Brane worlds 317
14.6 A holographic Universe 322
14.7 Coda 326
Index 328


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