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Galaxies in the Universe: An Introduction Paperback – February 5, 2007

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521671866 ISBN-10: 0521671868 Edition: 2nd

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Editorial Reviews


"The book fills in a critical need in the undergraduate astronomy curriculum. It is a perfect fit to advanced astronomy/physics majors. It also catches the most important and most fascinating current topics and recent discoveries and introduces them in the broad framework of modern extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. Most importantly, the book does an excellent job in showing students how to solve contemporary research problems with the physics they have already learned and how basic physics principles can go a long way in understanding some of the most complex phenomena in the Universe. The Second Edition includes some of the most exciting recent discoveries in astronomy and makes it an extremely timely textbook."
Xiaohui Fan, Steward Observatory, The University of Arizona

"Sparke and Gallagher have produced a remarkably comprehensive and easy-to-read account of extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. Aimed at third and fourth year undergraduates, but invaluable for researchers at all levels, frontier topics in this exciting and popular area of astronomy are discussed with admirable clarity, with the physical principles carefully explained and well-illustrated."
Richard Ellis, Steele Professor of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology

"Sparke and Gallagher have successfully distilled a large, complex, and rapidly growing subject into a highly readable and self-contained textbook. It skillfully introduces the fundamentals of extragalactic astronomy and stellar dynamics, while engaging the interest of readers with their up-to-date account of the observational and theoretical work in the subject. It will serve as a superb advanced textbook for an undergraduate course in astronomy and astrophysics, as well as a valuable reference source for graduate students and researchers, in astronomy and physics. I will keep it close at hand on my own bookshelf."
Robert Kennicutt, Plumian Professor of Astronomy, University of Cambridge

Galaxies in the Universe is more than its title suggests. It has all the ingredients needed for a comprehensive senior-level course on galaxies, including the necessary background technology, stellar astrophysics and dynamical and cosmological theory. The book is full of interesting problems aimed at broadening the reader's understanding. Galaxies in the Universe is an excellent text: I use it for my senior class and can strongly recommend it.
Ken Freeman, Duffield Professor, The Australian National University

"The scope of the book is impressive indeed. It is sure to find its way onto the desks of astronomers and astrophysicists around the world who are looking for key resources to teach senior physics undergraduates and even first-year graduate students. In the intervening years between the first edition of the text and this new one, research on galaxies everywhere and at all redshifts has proliferated enormously. It accurately conveys the present sense of excitement and anticipation at still more advances just around the corner ... The writing style is energetic, yet also remarkably compact: single sentences on page after page convey whole trains of embedded logic as if the authors cannot wait to get on to the next point. All in all, this book is a welcome and major accomplishment."
William E. Harris, Professor of Astrophysics, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada

Book Description

This extensively illustrated book has been up-dated and thoroughly revised to include the most recent observational data and theoretical developments. It includes several homework problems with hints and is ideal for advanced undergraduate students in astronomy and astrophysics.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 439 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (February 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521671868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521671866
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James M. Folks on May 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Galaxies in the Universe is an absolutely wonderful book. That being said, it is the type of textbook written so that the problems are an integral part of the text. That's not my personal preference because my schedule is such that I don't always have time to work them. The other problem with that style is that if you get stuck on any one problem, you run the risk of getting very little out of the rest of the book. Even so, most of the problems are very fun and not so difficult that someone who is strong in math and physics won't be able to get through them.

It is very definitely an introductory text intended to get one started on the basics before going to a different book to tackle harder material. By the end of the book you'll have done things like calculate the amount of dark matter that must exist within a given galaxy. My favorite part of this book is the section on gravitational lensing and dark matter. A long time ago I tried to decipher the original Kaiser and Squires article on the topic, and never really succeeded. This book explained the material with wonderful clarity.

The mathematical content of the book is relatively simple. Anyone familiar with multivariable calculus should be able to work through it without too much trouble. Some of the key results and ideas will be familiar to physics majors who've already taken a classical mechanics course or a thermostatistics course, but applied in a sufficiently different context that they don't seem redundant. This would be a good book for someone who has strong basics in general physics, is strong in undergraduate calculus, and has an interest in galactic astrophysics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John E. Shirey on February 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book does an excellent job of delineating the many observations of galaxies, not only in the present but also in the formation of galaxies and clusters of galaxies since the big bang. Much of the contemporary theories about galactic structure and star movements is backed up with math. Since this is a textbook, there are many problems to work on, and there are solution hints in an appendix. I would recommend it to any serious student of astronomy and physics.
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By M. Newbold on February 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fairly up to date and a good text. Many good example problems to test your knowledge during the chapters. Sometimes a little dry especially during derivations.
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I used this book as a reference when taking galactic astronomy courses. It was useful for answering my questions without being overly technical or assuming I had background information that I did not.
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