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The Invisible Universe: The Story of Radio Astronomy Paperback – February 13, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1441921567 ISBN-10: 1441921567 Edition: Softcover reprint of hardcover 2nd ed. 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; Softcover reprint of hardcover 2nd ed. 2007 edition (February 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441921567
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441921567
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,796,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

From the reviews of the second edition:

"In this new edition (1st ed., 1974), radio astronomer/science writer Verschuur (Univ. of Memphis) both entertains and informs about the contribution that radio astronomy is making towards an understanding of the universe. … A number of the excellent figure are in color; good appendixes cover definitions and the many terms unique to the field … . For reader interested in the development and status of this very interesting and important subfield of astronomy. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels." (W. E. Howard III, CHOICE, Vol. 44 (11), August, 2007)

From the Back Cover

Hidden from human view, accessible only to sensitive receivers attached to huge radio telescopes, giant versions of backyard satellite dishes, the invisible universe beyond our senses continues to fascinate and intrigue our imaginations. We cannot really comprehend what it means to say that a galaxy is exploding, yet that is the nature of some of the distant radio sources in the furthest reaches of space. Closer to home, in the Milky Way galaxy, radio astronomers listen patiently to the ticking of pulsars that tell of star death and states of matter of awesome densities. And between the stars, radio emission from a host of over 120 complex molecules radiate outward to reveal a tale about chemical processes that produce the very stuff of life. And all of this happens out there in the universe hidden from our eyes, even when aided by the Hubble Space Telescope.

This is the story of radio astronomy, of how radio waves are generated by stars, supernova, quasars, colliding galaxies, and by the very beginnings of the universe itself. In The Invisible Universe, you learn what astronomers are doing with those huge dishes in the New Mexico desert, in a remote valley in Puerto Rico, in the green Pocahontas Valley in West Virginia, as well as dozens of other remote sites around the world. With each of these observatories, the scientists collect and analyze their data, "listening" to the radio signals from space, in order to learn what is out there, and perhaps even if someone else may be listening as well.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luis Mansilla on June 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a fascinating book for the layman. The book present the precious history of what we know about the universe through the study of the radio signals. The author cover all the aspects of this field of astronomy, from the antennas used in the capture of those faint signals (thanks to interferometry) to the explanation of every single known source of radio waves in the vast universe, which include interstellar gas, pulsars, galaxies, black holes and quasars. Also the author cover some of the new radio telescope in construction such as the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array) project in the north of Chile, which by the way already have some engineers in a one-year training in the Unites States (I know two of them). This book makes you think about life in the universe, the vast of it even for light itself and the intriguing, slow and deadly way of its behavior. Last thing I want to write is that this is the first time I read a comment about some interesting phenomenon in theoretical research and is that if you know too much, you simply reduce your chances to contribute with a new discovery or innovation --- that is so true.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul on January 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I used this book as an additional source for a graduate level class. We didn't like standard text and this book was a much better read. However, it was very light with almost no math involved. If I was reviewing this text as a general reader I probably would give it one more star.

The author has a lot of negative things to say about SETI. In that section of the book the number of typos suddenly jumps up. It's almost like you can see him getting red in the face and pounding the keyboard when he was writing this section. Later, he completely ignores the new Allen Telescope Array - an instrument for both SETI and radio astronomy uses - but spends a few pages on ALMA - an array that will be fantastic when ready but it will be a few more years.

The best parts of the book are the anecdotes even though some seem irrelevant to the book's intent. For the graduate student, better books are available (possibly Rohlfs and Wilson). For the casual reader, this book won't help much more than a standard introduction to astronomy text (eg.,Paschoff and Filippenko; Chaisson and McMillan; Fraknoi, Morrison and Wolff).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. C. Harris on May 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Gerrit L. Verschuur shares some of the knowledge he has gained as an impeccable radio astronomer. It's a powerful read for the science minded, especially since he uncovers some of his most recent intriguing findings which may soon turn the scientific community upside down!
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