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Black Holes, Quasars and the Universe Hardcover – October 1, 1980


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin (T); 2 edition (October 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395293022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395293027
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,214,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Harry Shipman of the University of Delaware wrote this book on black holes, quasars and other astronomical phenomena before they had become (if you'll forgive the pun) attractive subjects. One of the stated purposes, from his introduction, is to supplement classical introductions to astronomy -- most introductory surveys of astronomy cover these subjects as a matter of course now, but this was not so in the 1970s.
Despite the age of the text and the fact that many discoveries and advances have been made since the original publication date of this book, it still provides an interesting and accessible survey to some of the more interesting objects and topics in astronomy. Shipman designed this book to be a supplement to introductory astronomy texts, a stand-alone volume for those without significant scientific background, and a primer for those who were preparing for more advanced work in the sciences.
The introduction begins with preliminary terminology and definitions, a brief survey of astronomy and the related physics concepts. It also looks at scientific method. This introduction leads to the first primary topic -- black holes. Shipman covers the aspects of gravity, stellar growth and decay, the different kinds of star 'death' (white dwarf, neutron star, pulsar), and devotes several chapters to aspects of the black hole itself. These address the event horizon and changes there, searching for black holes and issues of detection, and future directions in research. Shipman's general descriptions are still very good scientifically.
The second primary section addresses the phenomena of galaxies and quasars.
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Format: Hardcover
I used this book in an honors seminar that I taught several years ago on "The Physics and Philosophy of Time." ([...]) We read Hawking's "Brief History" and several chapters from this book. The students were honors students, of course, but not necessarily science majors - there were business majors, etc. So this book is readable by those without a college science education. It's not easy, you'll have to work, but definitely worth the struggle.

First of all, Shipman lays out the details of these bizarre stellar objects very lucidly. Most important, he's very clear about what ideas are completely speculative, which ones are probably true, and which others are as close to correct as science can go. His Chapter 6, for example, laying out all the crazy ideas of white holes, wormholes, etc, is a very sober account.

You don't need any physics or math background, but if you are a critical thinker, this is an excellent introduction to the physics of black holes.
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By Ryan J O'Toole on July 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My girlfriend loves space and loves books with the pictures of everything that's out there very clear and high resolution photos
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