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Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Physics and Astrophysics (Supplement; 10) Hardcover – 12 Dec 1997


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 1998 edition (12 Dec 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0387982957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0387982953
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,877,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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"This excellent text on physics is intended for undergraduate non-science majors. It is a unique introductory physics book in the sense that its emphasis is on applications in astronomy … This kind of well-written and compelling text is the best publicity for the physical sciences! Even science majors and physicists (especially teachers) should read it and enjoy (at least the reviewer enjoyed it a lot)." Mathematical Reviews

 

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 24 Jun 1998
Format: Hardcover
As a high school physics and astronomy teacher I think that this book contains good problems to use in both a physics and astronomy class to supplement coursework. I reccommend it for people who want to learn astronomy and physics at their own pace. The book is very readable but a certain level of math is needed to attempt using the book in a course, that is why I cannot use it in my classes.
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Format: Hardcover
As a former student of the author, I have a good feel for Dr. Seaborn's work and manner in this field. I find this recent work particularly comprehensive and helpful for those wishing to augment their understanding of physics and astronomy. The level of math is suitable for detailed, logical analysis, but not so challenging that non-majors cannot follow the explanations.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
The Universe in 300 Pages 22 Feb 2006
By Michael Saunders - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I am currently teaching an undergraduate-level course titled "Introduction to Astrophysics and Cosmology" at Stevens Institute of Technology, and I am using this book as the text. The course is intended as a science elective for non-physics majors, so my class consists mostly of computer science majors who have had one semester of physics and two semesters of calculus in their freshman year.

The book provides a good summary of the classical mechanics typically taught in "Physics I" and goes on to cover electricity and magnetism, waves and optics, relativity, and atomic physics, all in the context of explaining astrophysical phenomena. As the title implies, this is an elementary physics text first and foremost, with an emphasis on astrophysics. From a practical perspective, it is relatively small, lightweight, and inexpensive (from the lack of color illustrations, I assume), all of which influenced my decision to adopt it for my course.

Here is a list of some other texts that I considered for adoption and have been using as supplemental references:

Carroll, An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics (Addison-Wesley Longman)
Chaisson, Astronomy Today (Pearson Prentice Hall)
Snow, Universe: Origins and Evolution (Wadsworth)
Zeilik, Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics (Brooks/Cole)
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Unique Introduction to Astrophysics - Calculus Not Required 31 Aug 2003
By Michael Wischmeyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Science, mathematics, and engineering majors typically have little time for the more advanced, and more interesting humanities courses. Humanities majors are typically in a worse situation. In addition to scheduling difficulties, most do not have sufficient mathematical maturity to undertake first year classes in physics, chemistry, and calculus, much less the more advanced (and decidedly more interesting) topics like astrophysics, quantum physics, quantum chemistry, and abstract mathematics.
James Seaborn has created a unique text that targets humanities majors - Understanding the Universe, An Introduction to Physics and Astrophysics. Calculus is not necessary; only that level of high school mathematics generally required for college admissions. We learn the principles of physics, not in the standard format (mechanics followed by thermodynamics, vibrations and waves, electromagnetics, optics, and modern physics), but rather in the fascinating context of exploring the universe.
Seaborn does not skirt mathematics and the student will need to work, but no more than would be required in studying the poetry of William Blake, comparative religions, economic causes of the Civil War, the writings of Jorge Luis Borges, or other more advanced classes in the humanities.
Seaborn has that rare and remarkable ability to present complex and difficult topics with clarity and humor. His writing reminds me of Richard Feynman. His chapters are short and easily digestible. The example problems are well-chosen. I highly recommend this text for students looking for an introduction to physics, or astrophysics, or astronomy. It is really quite exceptional. I suspect that many science majors would also appreciate this short introduction to astrophysics.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Astrophysics: the short course. 5 Dec 2000
By Robert Sackett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The best book I've found for brushing up on forgotten math. Each short chapter covers a subject (optics, for example) and states what you really need to know. The problems at the end fortify that which was just taught. Answers are given to most problems but the method to find them is up to you. An excellent self-teaching book for the amateur astronomer who would like to know some of the science involved or for the serious student who needs to reclaim some lost physics. The book focuses on problems peculiar to astrophysics. Small enough to stick in your shoulder-bag and keep with you. One of my must-keep books.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Contains useful supplementary problems 24 Jun 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As a high school physics and astronomy teacher I think that this book contains good problems to use in both a physics and astronomy class to supplement coursework. I reccommend it for people who want to learn astronomy and physics at their own pace. The book is very readable but a certain level of math is needed to attempt using the book in a course, that is why I cannot use it in my classes.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great if you're willing to work a bit 19 Nov 2007
By Sandra Berger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book. It not only introduces you to some essential and facanating astrophysoics, but it also has a lot about classical mechanics which helps you understand the more advanced parts of the book. All in all it is good for someone who is willing to think about the problems in the book (some make you have to think for youself about the way to solve the problems.) But a scarce amount of calc. and trig (E.I. logarithms/ limits) is necessairy (both of which are on one or two pages each. All in all, a great start for an undergraduate necessairily majoring or someone who is just interested in how the universe works.
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