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An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics 1st Edition

13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0201547306
ISBN-10: 0201547309
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bradley Carroll received his B.A. in Mathematics and a Secondary Teaching Credential from the University of California, Irvine, his M.S. in Physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder and his Ph.D. Astrophysics from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Brad's lifelong fascination with astronomy, combined with a happy naivete concerning what lay ahead, led him to graduate school at CU Boulder. His thesis, supervised by Carl Hansen and John Cox, was a study of the effect of rotation on pulsating stars. Brad then headed east to work as a postdoc with Hugh Van Horn at the University of Rochester, where he carried out research on the oscillations of accretion disks and neutron stars. At both CU Boulder and the U of R, he learned the virtues of making simple models of complex astrophysical systems. .

Four years later, as the postdoc came to an end, Brad was lucky to find a teaching position in the Physics Department at Weber State University, and doubly lucky that Dale Ostlie was there. It is rare to find two experts in Stellar pulsation in the same institution and department, especially when their outlooks are congenial. .

Brad truly enjoys teaching which gives him the chance to share the wonders of the physical world with his students. Such a background served him well (especially his naivete about what lay ahead) when he and Dale decided to write An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics. Now that the book and solutions manual, are completed, Brad once again has the time to enjoy traveling, camping, and fishing.

Dale A. Ostlie's long-time interest in astronomy began with his childhood fascination in the space program, including vivid recollections of watching the Apollo missions with his family. His interest in teaching was born from his experiences as a student, being fortunate to have had excellent instructors and mentors in high school, college, and graduate school. During graduate school, Dale had the opportunity to spend a significant period of time working with Dr. Arthur N. Cox and the theoretical astrophysics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. While at Los Alamos, Dale was introduced to great number of exciting and challenging problems in astrophysics, which spurred his interest in developing a broad exposure to the discipline.

After completing his graduate thesis on Mira variable stars, and after a two-year teaching position at Bates College in Maine, Dale accepted a teaching position at Weber State University. With WSU nestled up against the Wasatch mountains of Utah, Dale is able to indulge his addictions to skiing, hiking, camping, and mountain biking. One year after Dale arrived at Weber State, Brad Carroll was hired, and their partnership in stellar pulsation studies and text-book writing was born. Sharing many of the same pedagogical views, as well as a dedication to producing the best possible text, Brad and Dale worked for six years to write An Introduction to Modern Stellar Astrophysics and An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics, and another year to produce the Instructor's Solutions Manual. Work related to the texts continues today with the maintenance of a collection of web pages associated with the books, including discussions of new discoveries since the publication of the texts in 1996.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1326 pages
  • Publisher: Benjamin Cummings; 1st edition (December 11, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201547309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201547306
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 2.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

107 of 108 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
There are very few comprehensive astrophysics text books at the junior/senior level. In trying to find a book which surveys most of the field I found only three possibilities. Two were good (Astrophysical Concepts by Harwitt and Astrophysics by Bowers and Deeming) but this one is EXCELLENT. The level of presentation is mathematically accessible to advanced undergrads in physics, math, comp sci, and engineering while the underlying physics is reviewed before it is applied. The exercises are interesting and complete and include several nice computer based problems in each chapter.
For a one semester survey class the size and scope of this book will induce heart attacks in your students but the organization and clear layout of the text allows the instructor to select a set of topics which (a) cover a wide range of astrophysical ideas and (b) don't depend strongly on the omitted material.
Highly recommended.
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Tsoi on December 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The book is a comprehensive book which guides you to the every corner of modern astrophysics.
From Kepler's Law to Relativity, from the geocentric model to modern cosmology, this book gives very clear descriptions of every aspect that you might be interested in.
The mathematical equations and formulaes are clear and tidy, wordings are simple enough to understand.
Therefore, not only if you are to take an astrophysics course at university, even if you just a high-school student or an amateur who is interested in knowing more about our universe, well, maybe in an mathematical way, this is a book for you.
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47 of 55 people found the following review helpful By rockdoc on March 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
After surveying available undergraduate texts in astrophysics and consulting colleagues, I settled on this as the best available despite qualms about its size and cost. My students are finding its size and sheer length overwhelming; we are forced to leave out so much material that they are questioning whether it's worth it. The system of units used (cgs) is becoming (if it is not already) obsolete in most areas of astrophysics. In every chapter there are references to material yet to be covered, requiring one to flip back and forth, often over hundreds of pages. Finally, with a 1996 publication date, much of the material is becoming dated (I know, a new edition will be even more expensive).
All that said, there are remarkably few errors in the text, figures, and problems for a work of this size. The instructor's solution manual is clear, comprehensive, and generally correct.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By GT on November 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
C&O is the "almanac" of introductory astrophysics. Virtually every facet of astrophysics is beautifully presented with decent (albeit rather introductory) amounts of detail.

This book comes very highly recommended as an introductory "bible" to the second-year University student just entering astronomy. More than that, though, it's also an ever-lasting establishment on your bookshelf that, no matter how long you've had your PhD, you'll find yourself returning to rather frequently. This book is a clear must-have for the astronomer.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Valente on December 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have just recently completed a 1-semester course using this book. It was taught tutorial-style where we were to read a chapter and come to class with questions on the book. This book has way too much information for one semester. The other students and I all agreed that we had to spend so much time trying to keep up with the current readings and homework from each chapter that there is really no way to learn & remember much from this book if it is taught in only 1 semester. We did omit a handful of chapters, the first 3, and the ones on the solar system, about 3-4 more in the middle of the book. If you are to teach the course, I reccomend you include chapter 3 because many subsequent chapters refer to it and I had to read the whole chapter anyway.
As for the content of the book, it is well organized and presented fairly clearly. Most of the math is followable to senior level students in the fields of physics and engineering. Discussions of many phenomenon are extremely thorough and multiple theories for phenomenon of unknown origin are presented.
As for complaints...
The authors are optical astronomers so there is a lot more information regarding this branch of astronomoy than there is for radio astronomy.
The solar system chapters are not that well put together, the reason our class decided to skip them.
The book contains a large number of errors. There is a list of corrections available on the publishers website, but it can still be confusing.
This book is getting old. In a field where there have been huge technical advances in the last 20 years, it might be wise to consider the new edition.
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By Daniel N. Lionsden on December 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I've used this book mainly as a reference whenever I had questions about particulars in astrophysics. Whenever I needed an answer to a particular question in astrophysics, Carrol and Ostlie had an answer. This book probably wasn't meant to be for a first course in astrophysics.

The book is wieldy and very technical. To go chapter by chapter from beginning to end, expect to follow the math, and have at least a year of analytical geometry and calculus. I noticed one professor didn't like it because he and his students had to jump around.

I bought this book not long after it was published, and although recent discoveries are not included, it can still educate someone interested in the subject. I never thought about reviewing this book because I didn't study it cover to cover. However, what I have read was very good
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