© 1998

Astrophysical Concepts


Part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Library book series (AAL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Martin Harwit
    Pages 1-48
  3. Martin Harwit
    Pages 49-62
  4. Martin Harwit
    Pages 63-95
  5. Martin Harwit
    Pages 97-148
  6. Martin Harwit
    Pages 149-182
  7. Martin Harwit
    Pages 183-239
  8. Martin Harwit
    Pages 241-286
  9. Martin Harwit
    Pages 287-349
  10. Martin Harwit
    Pages 351-406
  11. Martin Harwit
    Pages 407-438
  12. Martin Harwit
    Pages 439-481
  13. Martin Harwit
    Pages 483-512
  14. Martin Harwit
    Pages 513-557
  15. Martin Harwit
    Pages 559-571
  16. Martin Harwit
    Pages 573-573
  17. Back Matter
    Pages 575-653

About this book


Twenty-five years have passed since the first edition of Astrophysical Concepts appeared. During this time astrophysics has undergone major revolutions. We have gained new perspectives on the Universe with the aid ofpowerful gamma-ray, X­ ray, and infrared telescopes, whose sensitivities could not have been imagined a quarter-century earlier. We have become expert at snaring neutrinos to gain insight on nuclear processes at work in the Sun and supernovae. We have direct evidence for the existence of neutron stars and gravitational waves, and persuasive arguments for the detection of black holes on scales of individual stars as weH as galactic nuclei. With so much that is new, and so many new problems revealed by knowledge al­ ready gained, almost all parts ofthis book had to be reconsidered and rewritten. In the second edition, which appeared ten years ago, I had only added a chapter on the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets. For this third edition, such piecemeal mea­ sures no longer seemed appropriate. Much ofthe book has been completely revised. My principal aim in this third edition, as before, was to present a wide range of astrophysical topics in sufficient depth to give the reader a general quantitative understanding ofthe subject. The book outlines cosmic events but does not portray them in detail-it provides aseries of astrophysical sketches. I think this approach still befits the prevailing uncertainties and rapidly evolving views in astrophysics.


Supernova active galactic nuclei astronomy astrophysics cosmic ray early universe galaxies gamma-ray burst planet quasar quasars solar system sun universe

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Astronomy, Space Sciences BuildingCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Astrophysical Concepts
  • Authors Martin Harwit
  • Series Title Astronomy and Astrophysics Library
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York 1998
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-387-94943-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4757-2930-6
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4757-2928-3
  • Series ISSN 0941-7834
  • Edition Number 3
  • Number of Pages XIV, 653
  • Number of Illustrations 76 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Astronomy, Observations and Techniques
    Astrophysics and Astroparticles
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors


"a clear, solid introduction to astrophysics ... that shows how physics can be applied to astronomical objects ... One of the strong points is the problems (that) give students a real feel for the sort of calculations astronomers must do ... were I teaching a junior/senior astrophysics course, this is the book I would use."

"This is a popular book among professional astrophysicists, produced with that meticulous detail and completeness of the house of Springer … This is indeed a theoretician’s book [and] Harwit has made a prodigious effort in organizing all this information in a logical sequence … A masterly mathematical exposition of a galaxy of astrophysical processes." Astronomy