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Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology: An Introduction [Paperback]

Peter Schneider
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 58.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 Nov 2010 3642069711 978-3642069710 Softcover reprint of hardcover 1st ed. 2006

This book outlines the fundamentals of this fascinating branch of astronomy, and explores the forefront of astronomical research. The author’s passion for the topic shines with an intensity that rivals the book’s many colourful illustrations, and will deeply inspire the reader. The cogently written text introduces the reader to the astronomy of galaxies, their structure, their active galactic nuclei, their evolution and their large scale distribution. Starting with a detailed description of our Milky Way, and a review of modern observational and theoretical cosmology, the book goes on to examine the formation of structures and astronomical objects in the early universe.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 459 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; Softcover reprint of hardcover 1st ed. 2006 edition (23 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3642069711
  • ISBN-13: 978-3642069710
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 18.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,480,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Review of the German Edition:
This book fills an important gap in astronomy lecture courses. It summarizes the most modern achievements in cosmology, in particular Dark Matter and Dark Energy. I started using it for my introductory astrophysics lectures on the day it appeared.

Prof. Günther Hasinger, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics

During the past years extragalactic astrophysics has made rapid progress. An up-to-date, didactically written summary was not available so far. With its coherent description of the underlying physical principles and the attractive presentation of both the vast observational material and computer simulations, using colorful images throughout, Peter Schneider’s textbook fills that gap in an excellent way.

Prof. M. Steinmetz, Astrophysical Institute Potsdam

Pre-Publication Review of the English Edition:
I think this could be a superb textbook for courses on galaxies and cosmology, where, alas, there are not many, and certainly none that are up-to-date in the field.

Prof. John Huchra, Harvard University

From the reviews:

"Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology traces the development of our understanding of the structures in the universe from both a theoretical and an observational standpoint. … A particularly important and attractive aspect of the presentation is the inclusion of well-reasoned descriptions of the fundamental physical principles that underlie the equations. The book is current even though the field is one of rapid development. … Masterful blending of observation and theory; lucid exposition. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students through professionals." (D. E. Hogg, CHOICE, Vol. 44 (10), June, 2007)

"Through the richness of the color illustrations and through the deep insight of the content, the book will most certainly lead the reader to the forefront of astronomical research in this very interesting and fascinating domain of astronomy. … will not only be highly appreciated by undergraduate students in astronomy but also by graduate students and researchers involved in the field who will certainly appreciate its comprehensive coverage. Teachers and lecturers will also consider it as a mine of information and as a reliable reference." (Emile Biémont, Physicalia Magazine, Vol. 29 (4), 2007)

From the Back Cover

Starting with the description of our home galaxy the Milky Way, this cogently written textbook introduces the reader to the astronomy of galaxies, their structure, active galactic nuclei, evolution and large scale distribution. Then, from the extensive and thorough introduction to modern observational and theoretical cosmology, the text turns to the formation of structures and astronomical objects in the early universe.

In particular, Peter Schneider’s Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology has the goal of imparting the fundamental knowledge of this fascinating subfield of astronomy, while leading readers to the forefront of astronomical research. But it seeks to accomplish this not only with extensive textual information and insights. In addition, the author’s evident admiration for the workings of the universe that shines through the lines and the many supporting color illustrations will deeply inspire the reader.

While this book has grown out of introductory university courses on astronomy and astrophysics, it will not only be appreciated by undergraduate students and lecturers. Through the comprehensive coverage of the field, even graduate students and researchers specializing in related fields will appreciate it as reliable reference.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mimichi 4 Nov 2010
Good coverage of the subject. It contains many graphs and illustrations, which helps understanding significantly.
The only demerit is that the book does not contain references well enough to search for further reading.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Impressive 20 Nov 2008
By Brian H. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have to second an earlier reviewer's take on this book - it's simply great. It is very up to date and thorough, and the writing is engaging. It's obvious Prof. Schneider loves astronomy and enjoys making it clear and accessible. Often I felt he went out of his way to include all the steps in a logical progression, whether or not he felt some were "obvious."

The book's many graphs and full color photos are a particular highlight. Never have I seen visual aids used to such impressive and educational effect. Want to see the ellipses of individual stars orbiting the 4 million solar mass black hole in the center of the galaxy? The image is right here, along with dozens of others. Note that this is a book for people who are comfortable with calculus-based math and physics. But while the important math is there, complex derivations and pages of notation are thankfully absent. It seems that Prof. Schneider included only the math that needed to be there and no more, leaving words and graphs to tell as much of the story as possible.

This book is almost like an encyclopedia: everything that is written covers essential topics succinctly yet completely. Three appendices cover fundamental astronomical concepts for those who would like a brief review. The section on recommended literature is right on the money and includes useful online references.

While I think this book would be an excellent textbook there are no student questions or problems. Had they been included the book would have been much longer than its already considerable 460 pages. For those looking for exercises I recommend "An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics," 2nd edition (2006), by Carroll and Ostlie.

The last 20 years has changed our understanding of the universe tremendously. This book does a great job of explaining all these new advances to those of us who aren't professional astronomers. Highly recommended.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book 7 April 2008
By mcerner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Can a textbook in cosmology really become a coffee-table book? In my house, yes, but then this book is really beautiful. The color photos are stunning, and there are enough of them to keep the topic very exciting, as if cosmology weren't rather awesome to begin with. Also many charts/diagrams, a bunch of formulas, and lots of highly informative text. If it sounds like I'm only looking at the pictures, though, I am not. I'm a physicist wanting to reacquaint myself with cosmology, which I enjoyed back in graduate school. The actual text is appropriate to a grad school audience, and it is quite thorough -- but not suitable to the general public.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars issue with kindle version 24 Jun 2009
By vivere - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am only addressing the kindle version and not the substance of this book, for which I defer to the other reviewers. I have a hardback edition, which I never opened until I recently bought the digital edition for the kindle DX. I first opened the dgital version on the iphone 3G and I was pleasantly surprised to see the *color* pictures rendered beautifully on the iphone screen. I did not read very far, however, when I noticed an unfinished sentence at location 281-286 right above the legend for FIG. 1.3 in the digital version (iphone and kindle). I checked the paper edition. The text there is in two columns, and the text that is missing from the digital version appears right after FIG. 1.3 on the left column of the paper edition.
I don't know whether there are other errors in the digital version. The purpose of this review is to alert readers and Amazon to exercise better quality control on the digital versions of the books.
I gave four stars to bring attention to this issue. By the way, I prefer reading the book on the iphone because of the crisp resolution and color.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saul 23 April 2010
By Saul - Published on Amazon.com
I highly recommend Peter Schneider's Introduction to Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology. Schneider book is written at an under graduate level. Schneider explains what is observed, the standard theories, and the current astronomical puzzles. His explanation of the mathematical models is very clear. In a few paragraphs he explains the fundamental equations that are used to create each model and then compares the models to observations. His emphasis is on the model as a tool to understand what is observed and to do or understand quantifiable analysis. Every subject covered is first rate.

As others noted above the text is written on high quality paper and includes very clear pictures and diagrams to explain each subject. I have a copy of Carroll and Ostlie's An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics which I would also recommend, however, I found Schneider's textbook to be a better reference if you want to understand the fundamentals of each subject and how the different subjects and observations are connected.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EAaC 24 Dec 2011
By Frank J. Carter - Published on Amazon.com
Not necessarily a beginners book, but wonderfully readable and a great assessment of where we are in understanding the cosmos and a great description of the tools and techniques we are using to achieve understanding. I was mildly disappointed that there were no problems sets at the end of chapters, but I have plenty of other books where the math is oppressive. This is a nice balance.
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