on August 1, 2009
I bought this book then left it on the shelf for awhile. However, when I was teaching the mechanics portion of an introductory astrophysics course I pulled it down and found it very useful for its discussion of the spectroscopic determination of the masses and orbital parameters from observational data. It was just right for explaining to the students in the class how to calculate masses, eccentricities, and the other orbital parameters from data available in the literature. This wasn't quite possible from the other textbooks I used (including Carroll and Ostlie and the new textbook by Bradt) which covered the same material but didn't develop it as fully. I am working through the interacting binary part of the book now, but have found the book to be one of the ones I turn to when I need a decent explanation of the mathematics before hitting the technical literature. If you need to calculate it and not just get a synopsis this is your book.
on December 23, 2007
If you are an amateur astronomer studying eclipsing binary star systems, and have some training in physics, this book by R.W. Hilditch is a goldmine of information about the interaction of binaries. His treatment is closely tied to observational data, so that you will be motivated to follow the analyses he provides of light curve shapes. The information content of spectroscopic studies and of pulsar and x-ray data are also covered. The book is about as clear as it can be considering the detail provided. Even if equations frighten you, you might find the graphical and pictorial information useful.
on December 28, 2014
This is one of the best books in this topic. Enough detail and rigor for the serious physicist, yet clearly written so even an enthusiast can follow every chapter (Note: not for the "mathematically untrained").
Published in 2001, it is still relevant even more so today that new binary stars are discovered every day.
The last chapter about imaging stellar surfaces shows nice snapshots and explains them !