The Exoplanet Handbook Hardcover – 26 May 2011
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'… Michael Perryman … has written an excellent, startlingly complete snapshot of the current state of knowledge regarding extrasolar planets … Like any good encyclopedia, The Exoplanet Handbook has as its major strength its reference list, which cites more than 4000 papers. The list provides a near-complete snapshot of all the research that has taken place in the field in the past two decades. Furthermore, the references are deftly integrated into the text, which makes this volume an excellent point of departure for any researcher seeking to chart a new course of exoplanetary investigation.' Gregory Laughlin, Physics Today
'… more technically detailed and comprehensive than many of the rival texts. … it is an ideal companion for a PhD student in the field, as well as an excellent reference for the experienced researcher … this is also an excellent, detailed textbook suitable for a specialist undergraduate or postgraduate lecture course.' The Observatory
'If I were allowed access to only one book on the subject of extra-solar planets, Michael Perryman's Exoplanet Handbook is a contender that would be very hard to beat. The book documents the whirlwind development of this newly-emergent and energetic new field of science … It is also a compendium of essential physical concepts, useful formulae and computational strategies for analysis of the various types of astronomical data used to discover and characterise exoplanets.' Andrew Collier Cameron, University of St Andrews
'This remarkable compilation brings together observations and theoretical explorations of a rapidly growing astronomical field. Literally every possible observational method is explained and recent results given … While the number of known exoplanets changes weekly, the methods through which we discover and characterise these do not. Highly recommended.' George F. Benedict, University of Texas, Austin
'When my students would ask for an appropriate textbook that covered all of the course material my reply had always been 'there are none'. That is until The Exoplanet Handbook … Perryman's book compiles all the pertinent and current knowledge in exoplanets in one place … This is a comprehensive and well-written textbook that beautifully covers all aspects of the dynamic field of exoplanets.' Artie Hatzes, University of Jena
'The Exoplanet Handbook provides a very valuable integration of all aspects of the fascinating and interdisciplinary world of exoplanet science. It combines in a coherent context the presentation of the observational techniques, covering recent highlights and future prospects, with the description of the vast range of intertwining phenomena and processes that shape the paths of planet formation, evolution and structure … The book shows an impressive command of a wide variety of topics. It is an encyclopedic mine of information … The Handbook is an invaluable resource for professional planetary scientists and academic teachers, for both practising astronomers and motivated amateurs, and for advanced undergraduate and graduate students venturing into the exciting, fast-moving, world of exoplanet science.' Vittorio Vanzani, Padua University
'The Exoplanet Handbook by Michael Perryman is an exhaustive reference for the techniques, facts, and theory of exoplanet science. Poised as it is at the close of the first decade of the new millennium to assume a major role in astronomy's future, exoplanets research has now acquired its encyclopaedist. An excellent and objective resource for novice and expert alike, this compendium is destined for the libraries of all serious students of the art.' Adam Burrows, Princeton University
'Perryman's book is truly a major achievement: it is an astonishingly complete overview of everything we know about exoplanets. Impressively, he covers not only the basic foundational concepts, but also summarizes in detail the observational techniques and challenges, and reviews both current knowledge and past progress. The Exoplanet Handbook will serve as the seminal reference in this field for many years. I would (and will) strongly encourage any graduate students interested in doing serious research in exoplanets to buy a copy of this book.' B. Scott Gaudi, Ohio State University
'Michael Perryman's new book provides not only a thorough discussion of what we have learned about extrasolar planets since the first discoveries over 15 years ago, but also a clear and comprehensive review of the wide range of observational and theoretical techniques that have been employed to find and characterize them. This volume is a must-have for serious researchers in the field, and will be an invaluable reference for many years to come.' I. Neill Reid, Space Telescope Science Institute
'This Handbook is a true encyclopedic reference on exoplanets. Perryman's new book is a comprehensive review on major programs and results obtained in the last decade in this exciting new domain of astrophysics and as such it is a priceless resource for experts. The detailed descriptions of the foundations of the main observations techniques and key theoretical aspects make it a perfect book for any student wishing to have a comprehensive introduction to exoplanet research. This volume is likely to become an important reference in the field.' Didier Queloz, Geneva Observatory
'The Exoplanet Handbook by Michael Perryman is impressive; the content is of high level and very accurate. He has succeeded in providing an exhaustive and up-to-date review of this mature and rich field. The Handbook will surely help Ph.D. students and professional astronomers who want to learn about this field. It will even be useful to experts who want to check details on some specific aspects, either about exoplanets themselves, detection methods, or instrumentation.' Jean Schneider, CNRS/LUTH, Paris Observatory
'Its 400 densely packed pages probably contain all you need to know about the subject … if you are a serious student of the subject you will find it an essential purchase.' Spaceflight
'This is an extremely thorough guide to all things exo-planetary, crammed with information and is an essential textbook for astronomy students.' Astronomy Now
Exoplanet research is one of the most explosive subjects in astronomy today, with more than 500 exoplanets now known. This book ties together these many avenues of investigation - from the perspectives of observation, technology and theory - to give a comprehensive, up-to-date review of the entire field.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
I could see using this book as the textbook for a broad advanced undergraduate- or graduate-level class on exoplanet science. The chapters are nicely laid out, with ~half-page explanations of an extremely wide variety of topics and all the references you could need to learn more. There are a lot of figures, in many cases drawn from recent relevant scientific papers, that do a good job of illustrating the key points. There are some equations but only where they are useful.
There is so much useful information in this book that I intend to keep this book close to my desk for the foreseeable future.
I have been trying to come up with something negative to say about the book so that my review appears unbiased but I can't find anything -- perhaps the overabundance of references although in general I found that the right references were chosen for a given subject.
I fully agree with the elegant praise from Andrew Cameron's review -- this is an excellent book!
Throughout the book, clear and succinct descriptions of the underlying physics illuminate the key equations in the planet-hunter's armoury. Perryman follows the advances and setbacks encountered by the army of academics, postdocs and grad students who have driven the whole enterprise, by binding their individual contributions to the refereed journal literature into an engaging narrative woven around the essential physics. Remarkably, the 2000 or so papers referenced in the book's 70-page bibliography represent about one-third of the 6000 articles that have documented the advance of the field over the last 15 years.
Perryman reviews the development of exoplanetary science at a level of detail that is perfectly suited to the needs of advanced undergraduates or newly-graduated students embarking on a research career in this field. Each of the book's opening chapters documents the underlying physical theory and observational techniques for each of the main discovery methods in turn: radial velocities, astrometry, gravitational microlensing, transits and direct imaging. A chapter on stellar physics and asteroseismology drives home the message that intimate knowledge of the host star is central to our understanding of the age and primordial elemental composition of any planetary system. The ensuing chapter on the formation and evolution of planetary systems illustrates the complex interplay of chemistry and dynamics that determines the final architecture of a star and its planets. In the final two chapters, Perryman outlines our present theoretical understanding of the interiors and atmospheres of planets and the conditions for planetary habitability, then turns back to look at the processes that have shaped our own solar system in the light of the lessons learned from the study of alien planetary-system architectures.
I recommend this book to advanced undergraduates studying exoplanetary science as part of a modular degree course. It provides a salutary reminder that all the relevant disciplines from orbital dynamics through stellar and planetary structure to asteroseismology are interconnected: university degree courses may be modular, but science isn't. For researchers starting out at PhD level, the book's panoramic overview of the literature in this field is without parallel. For more established researchers seeking to establish the feasibility of a new idea for a telescope proposal or grant application, the building-blocks for the essential back-of-the-envelope calculations are all here, in the places where you expect to find them. This aspect of the work will ensure its lasting usefulness - the hard binding is a wise choice, as I expect to consult it frequently for many years to come.
Perryman tells the tale of this youthful and burgeoning field of astrophysics from his authoritative viewpoint as one of its leading protagonists. For the old dogs, Perryman's thumbnail portraits of the capabilities of past and future instruments, both ground-based and space-based, give a clear strategic overview of what has worked best in the past, and of what the future might hold. As we struggle to maintain the pace of discovery in difficult economic times, this well-balanced and comprehensive overview is likely to prove invaluable to decision-makers seeking to maximise scientific return on investment in new-generation space missions and giant ground-based telescopes.
I highly recommend this book for all advanced undergraduates and to graduate students just venturing into the exoplanet business. It is also a very valuable resource
for any academic person that is preparing a university course on this topic.
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