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$76.96 $55.00 list($99.95)
1. Horizons : Exploring the Universe
$93.00 $63.50 list($96.00)
2. The Cosmic Perspective, Third
$94.00 $55.50
3. Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide
list($189.50)
4. The Mechanical Universe : Introduction
$99.00 $71.50
5. The Cosmic Perspective: Media
$94.60 $68.99
6. Essential Cosmic Perspective,
$102.00 $70.00
7. The Moon : Resources, Future Development
$88.95 $45.90
8. Universe & CD-Rom
$65.00 $37.45
9. Astronomy: The Evolving Universe
$104.95 $69.99
10. Astronomy : The Solar System and
$42.46 list($49.95)
11. The New CCD Astronomy: How to
$94.95 $58.39
12. In Quest of the Universe
$110.00 $59.99
13. Gravitational N-Body Simulations
$19.77 $12.95 list($29.95)
14. Nightwatch: A Practical Guide
$23.09 $22.71 list($34.99)
15. The New Quantum Universe
$24.00 $5.46 list($60.00)
16. New Cosmic Horizons: Space Astronomy
$132.00 $105.00
17. An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics
$16.50 $16.42 list($25.00)
18. Turn Left at Orion: A Hundred
$10.17 $9.30 list($14.95)
19. Hyperspace : A Scientific Odyssey
$29.95 $21.75
20. The Illustrated Theory of Everything:

1. Horizons : Exploring the Universe (with TheSky CD-ROM, Virtual Astronomy Labs, and InfoTrac)
by Michael A. Seeds
list price: $99.95
our price: $76.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0534392687
Catlog: Book (2003-05-06)
Publisher: Brooks Cole
Sales Rank: 54053
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This text, which uses a stars-first organizational approach, is intended for the introductory course in astronomy for non-science majors. The level of detail in this text makes it most appropriate for a one-semester or two-quarter course, although it may also be used in a two-semester sequence.This newly revised and updated 8th edition of HORIZONS shows students their place in the universenot just their location, but also their role as planet dwellers in an evolving universe. Fascinating and engaging, the book illustrates how science works, and how scientists depend on evidence to test hypotheses. Students will learn to focus on the scientific method through the strong central questioning themes of "what are we?" and "how do we know?" Through a discussion of this interplay between evidence and hypothesis, Mike Seeds provides not just a series of facts, but also a conceptual framework for understanding the logic of astronomical knowledge. The book vividly conveys the author's love of astronomy, shows students how the universe can be described by a small set of physical laws, and illustrates how they can comprehend their place in the universe by understanding these laws, rather than simply memorizing facts. By crafting a story about astronomy, Seeds shows students how to ask questions of nature and therefore gradually puzzle out the beautiful secrets of the physical world. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb textbook - beautifully illustrated, clearly written!
This is the Eighth Edition of a truly superb textbook for an introductory astronomy course, or for anyone (amateur astronomers?)who is looking for a great and beautifully illustrated general reference source on astronomy. I've been teaching intro astronomy for many years and keep my eye on all the textbooks. Aimed primarily at non-science majors, Seeds' book is a hum-dinger and really the best I see out there at this time.

The author has a very clear and quite intertaining writing style, and each edition of the book is even more beautifully illustrated than the last. The artwork especially in the last two editions is simply super, and clearly illustrate many phenomena that students often have trouble with. This textbook covers every topic needed in a survey course from the nature of light, a bit of astronomy history and telescopes, properties and formation of stars and galaxies, the planets, and very current data on cosmology, dark matter, life in the universe and so on. Very up to date!

Mike Seeds' book goes fairly easy on the math (although all important concepts are covered)compared to some other "intro astronomy" books. Overall, I find this book ideally suited to a survey course for non-science majors. For science majors or a textbook that might also be useful in somewhat higher level astronomy courses, I would recommend Kaufmann/Freeman's "Universe" as an excellent choice.

Seeds' book is comprehensive and about 500 pages in length - similar to almost all intro astronomy textbooks. To a great extent, literally all these 500 page textbooks are way too lengthy for a one semester survey course. It is difficult to get students to read this much for each class. I keep hoping that Mike Seeds, and excellent author, will produce a 250-300 page (maximum) version of Horizons specifically for one semester courses. Until someone creates a shorter version of the same high quality, I'll keep recommending this textbook.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can a good thing get better?
As a freshman in college (majoring in Astronomy) I had to use Horizons 4e for an Intro Astronomy course, and fell in love with it. I loved it so much that I bought Horizons 6e! I think this great book just keeps getting better! The art and photos are fantastic, and tie in well with the text, which is an easy read, great for majors and non-majors alike. In summary, Horizons 6e is a great text, well worth the money.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book!
Horizons: Sixth Edition is an all-color book talking about the cosmos, also known as the universe. I am currently using this book at UC Berkeley for the summer sessions course, Astronomy 10. It includes two CD-ROMs which are really helpful in your research. I recommend this book because my professor chose it and it is quite worth the seventy dollars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful pictures, inspires further interest in astronomy
I thought this was a wonderful book. It has a lot of wonderful pictures and excelent diagrams. This book goes into many different areas of astronomy giving the reader a well rounded bounty of knowledge about our Universe. It is also rather easy to understant. You don't need to be an astro-physicist to understant this book, but after reading it you might want to become one! ... Read more


2. The Cosmic Perspective, Third Edition
by Jeffrey Bennett, Megan Donahue, Nicholas Schneider, Mark Voit
list price: $96.00
our price: $93.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805387382
Catlog: Book (2003-07-25)
Publisher: Addison Wesley Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 23116
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The enhanced pedagogy, streamlined presentation, and integrated media of The Cosmic Perspective, Third Edition makes it easier than ever for readers to successfully navigate their way through introductory astronomy. Renowned for its up-to-date and expert coverage, this student-friendly book focuses on central ideas and unifying themes to provide a cosmic context. New chapter openers and end-of-chapter summaries expertly steer readers through key concepts, helping them stay focused on core learning goals. KEY TOPICS The Third Edition features expanded coverage on seasons, the solar system, chronological history, and astrobiology.For college instructors, students, or anyone interested in introductory astronomy. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Reviewed by an astronomy student
As an astronomy student at the University of Colorado, I have used "The Cosmic Perspective" as a text book for two of my classes (one on stars and galaxies, and one on the solar system). This book is perfect for both: the text is clear and full of insight; the illustrations and photographs are abundant and extremely professional, and they complement the text superbly; the sections called "Mathematical Insight" give the reader a clear understanding of the science involved, and the sections called "Common Misconceptions" are as fun to read as they are informative.

I have read this book cover-to-cover, and although it is intended as a text book, it reads like many of the very popular science books I have read. If you enjoyed reading Sagan's "Cosmos", Gribbin's "In Search of the Big Bang", Feynman's "The Character of Physical Law", Lederman's "The God Particle" or Hawking's "A Brief History of Time", you will enjoy this very well-conceived and well-written book.

"The Cosmic Perspective" is very comprehensive. Besides covering the fundamental concepts of astronomy (such as light as the cosmic messenger; universal motion; celestial timekeeping; and telescopes), this book details how stars are born, evolve and die; the fundamentals of relativity; how the galaxies were formed, as well as how our solar system was formed; how vast space really is; how we know the distances to various objects in our universe; and how we know what happened at the early moments of the Big Bang. Since this book is new (published in 1999), it contains the latest facts and the latest thinking of modern astronomy. This book captured my interest and my enthusiasm the moment I began reading it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Most comprehensive astronomy book with clearest explanations
For beginner or intermediate astronomy students, this book not only has all topics covered, but touches on many other branches of science that are essential to the understanding of astronomy. Clear, concise explanations with very careful attention to units in sample problems make many basic science concepts understandable. The depth of current knowledge covered on a wide variety of astronomical topics is remarkable for inclusiion in just one book. The graphic diagrams, drawings, charts, illustrations, and photographs are also outstanding in what they add to one's ability to visualize the material presented. Overall, this is by far the best astronomy book I've seen. ... Read more


3. Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe, Fourth Edition
by Eric Chaisson, Steve McMillan
list price: $94.00
our price: $94.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0131007270
Catlog: Book (2003-07-23)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 75981
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A brief, introductory astronomy book designed for readers with little or no scientific background, A Beginner's Guide uses an exceptionally clear writing style. The authors present a broad view of astronomy without complex mathematics, yet the book discusses important concepts without simplification.The book's organization follows the popular and effective “Earth-Out” progression, starting with our planet and then moving through the solar system. A study of the Sun as a model star follows, then the book covers the Milky Way Galaxy, cosmology, and the universe as a whole.Because of its easy-to-read yet comprehensive coverage of astronomy, this book can serve as excellent reference material for those readers interested in learning about our universe. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Astronomy Text Book
Text book arrived in excellent condition (brand spankin' new) and in a timely manner (about 3 business days). I got a great deal too! No problems whatsoever. Thanks a bunch!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Textbook
For anyone who has a vague interest in astronomy, this would be the book to read. Albeit not entirely simple, this is a relatively straight forward book that uses excellent examples to explain difficult concepts. There are many charts and diagrams. How exactly does a black hole work? What's the difference between a nova and a supernova (not as simple as you might think)? Why do we get meteor showers? There is a bit of mathematics involved, but nothing too intimidating. This is an excellent textbook. Best of all, a CD-ROM is included with lots of multimedia content, study questions, and links to more sources. Avoid other dry textbooks and purchase this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not hard to read at all!
This book is exactly what it claims to be: "A Beginners Guide to the Universe." I had a vague interest in astronomy and picked up this book to see if this interest could be further developed. There was information about a wide variety of topics: the planets, telescopes, and, of course, stars. While the reading was not thrilling, it never got too specified which would have made it hard to read. There were also some nice little pieces of history here and there, which I really liked. All in all, a good basic source of information about all aspects of astronomy. ... Read more


4. The Mechanical Universe : Introduction to Mechanics and Heat
by Richard P. Olenick, Tom M. Apostol, David L. Goodstein
list price: $189.50
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Asin: 0521304296
Catlog: Book (1985-08-30)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 549503
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Book Description

This important textbook is based on, though independent of, an educational TV series to be broadcast on public television in the United States. Its aim is to guide students and general readers to an understanding of how the physical world works; physics is presented as a human endeavour, with historical development forming a thread throughout the text. The prerequisites are minimal, only basic algebra and trigonometry since the necessary calculus is developed in the text, with physics providing the motivation. New concepts are introduced at the natural, logical point with many historical references to place physics in a social perspective. Many topics from twentieth-century physics are included, for example energy, low temperature physics, relativity and black holes. The book is attractively and profusely illustrated and will be welcomed by students and also by general readers for whom this will be a stimulating alternative to other, less-thorough treatments. ... Read more


5. The Cosmic Perspective: Media Update
by Jeffrey O. Bennett, Megan Donahue, Nick Schneider, Mark Voit
list price: $99.00
our price: $99.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805392017
Catlog: Book (2004-07-14)
Publisher: Addison Wesley Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 49263
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Built from the ground up on our new understanding of the universe, this reader-friendly book focuses on central ideas and unifying themes to provide a cosmic context. Scientific concepts are linked to everyday experience to help readers develop an appreciation for the scientific method and to see how physics and astronomy are foundations for understanding their world, and recent discoveries spark readers' curiosity in the universe as a whole.The book opens with an overview of the evolving universe to give readers a big picture that is returned to throughout the book. Departing from the traditional planet-by-planet facts and figures, the book emphasizes the similarities between planets by exploring connecting processes, as well as the evolving vision of galaxies and dark matter.For college instructors and students, or anyone interested in astronomy and physics. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Textbook Ever!
This is the best textbook I have ever read.Not only is it informative, but the authors give the information in an interesting way.My entire class agrees that the best line is "we like to refer to Jupiter not as a failed starm but as a very successful planet."

4-0 out of 5 stars A Quality Text Book
I'm not an astronomer. I'm not even a scientist. I'm just a 2nd year college student that just finished a semester of astronomy for her science requirement. None the less, after reading the majority of this book, I do feel that I'm in a position to be able to review it properly.
The beginning was a bit confusing for me, but once I read more, I began to understand the majority of the material presented.It's a very, very thorough text with excellent cd-rom resources that help you test yourself and review. I thought the chapters on the planets, particularly the jovian planets, and star formation were particularly well written and easy to understand. This is a great text for anyone wishing to teach or study astronomy. I would highly recommend it. ... Read more


6. Essential Cosmic Perspective, The (3rd Edition)
by Jeffrey O. Bennett, Megan Donahue, Nicholas Schneider, Mark Voit
list price: $94.60
our price: $94.60
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0805389334
Catlog: Book (2004-07-16)
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Sales Rank: 31768
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Essential Cosmic Perspective, Third Edition, built from the ground up on our new understanding of the universe, has been revised and streamlined to make it easier for readers to navigate and learn from. Chapter openers, headers, callouts, and chapter summaries make learning goals more explicit and tie together important concepts. Key content has been consolidated and reorganized, with a new emphasis on a planet-by-planet approach. The material is linked to everyday life, helping readers develop an appreciation for the scientific method and see how physics and astronomy are foundations for understanding their world. Supplementing the book is an expanded and easy-to-use media package.Developing Perspective, Key Concepts for Astronomy, Learning From Other Worlds, Stars, Galaxies and Beyond, Life on Earth and Beyond.For college instructors and students, or anyone interested in issues relating to astronomy. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Everything you want to know, plus a great CDRom!
This book is really good, especially for those interested in the universe and its formation. It also comes with a CDRom with video clips and a study guide for students. A useful, and interesting book! ... Read more


7. The Moon : Resources, Future Development and Colonization (Wiley-Praxis Series in Space Science and Technology)
by DavidSchrunk, BurtonSharpe, BonnieCooper, MadhuThangavelu, Madhu Thangavelu
list price: $102.00
our price: $102.00
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Asin: 0471976350
Catlog: Book (1999-07-27)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 761855
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This unique, visionary and innovative book describes how the Moon could be colonised and developed as a platform for science, industrialization and exploration of our Solar System and beyond.
Thirty years ago, the world waited with baited breath to watch history in the making, as man finally stepped onto the moon's surface. In the last few years, there has been growing interest in the idea of a return to the moon. This book describes the reasons why we should now start lunar development and settlement, and how this goal may be accomplished.
The authors, all of whom are hugely experienced space scientists, consider the rationale and steps necessary for establishing permanent bases on the Moon. Their innovative and scientific-based analysis concludes that the Moon has sufficient resources for large-scale human development. Their case for development includes arguments for a solar-powered electric grid and railroad, creation of a utilities infrastructure, habitable facilities, scientific operations and the involvement of private enterprise with the public sector in the macroproject.
By transferring and adapting existing technologies to the lunar environment, the authors argue that it will be possible to use lunar resources and solar power to build a global lunar infrastructure embracing power, communication, transportation, and manufacturing. This will support the migration of increasing numbers of people from Earth, and realization of the Moon's scientific potential. As an inhabited world, the Moon is an ideal site for scientific laboratories dedicated to geosciences, astronomy and life sciences, and most importantly, it would fulfil a role as a proving ground and launch pad for future Solar System exploration.
The ten chapters in this book go beyond the theoretical and conceptual. With vision and foresight, the authors offer practical means for establishing permanent bases on the Moon. The book will make fascinating and stimulating reading for students in astronautics, space science, life sciences, space engineering and technology as well as professional space scientists, engineers and technologists in space projects.
... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best introduction to lunar development
This book is the best up-to-date introduction to lunar development, focusing on the primary technical infrastructure necessary to expand from an initial base via In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) to global development of what the authors term "Planet Moon". The book makes a clear case first for why we should do this, and then in quite detailed outline, how. While some technical components, such as remote robotic tele-operation, or lunar materials mining and processing, still require research and development work, nothing in this project is far from mundane things we already know how to do. The book isn't entirely self-consistent and the logical separation of topics sometimes seems a bit odd, but the range of material covered is satisfyingly broad: lunar topography and composition; railways, telecommunications and materials transport; requirements on construction and chemical processing equipment; human-suitable habitats, life support, agriculture, and "cislunar" transport and logistics, and more. Beyond the technical discussion of the physical, chemical, and engineering issues are several sections of the book dealing with lunar government, including a proposal for creation of a "Lunar Economic Development Authority" (LEDA) following a port authority model, which looks extremely promising. At least as valuable as the 10 main chapters are the 20 appendixes, to which over half the book's pages are devoted. These appendixes, based heavily on work published elsewhere, bring a lot of information together in one place available for ready inter-comparison. Perhaps the most interesting is also the longest, Appendix E, which thoroughly covers the proposed processes for lunar oxygen extraction and related chemical processing. This book is an essential guide for anybody hoping to work on lunar development and participate in, as the authors phrase it, the "Planet Moon Project".

5-0 out of 5 stars immediate classic - ambitious primer with vision & scope
Take your pick of "must buy", "immediate classic", or "ambitious Primer with Vision and Scope". Not a few people have taken a hard in depth look at what it will take to establish a permanent outpost on the Moon - as if that was an end all and be all goal in and of itself. In this new volume, Schrunk and his team are clearly out to do more. Seeing the Moon in the much wider light as a world with considerable mineral resources and its strategic location on the shoulder of Earth' gravity well, they outline a feasible, realistic scenario for the coming century. Their goal is not "a" moon base. It is a global integration of the Moon into Earth's economy. Looking at the Moon's resources, where they are located, and at which parts of the Moon have special advantages, they take us from a first south polar outpost step by step into a future when humans will be busy all over the Moon, and making money doing so. Their vision is grounded on established technologies, never depending on developments or breakthroughs that may or may not ever happen. On the airless Moon, good old fashion electric railroads (eventually MagLev) will be the principal way of moving goods and materials from one part of the globe to another. Relying solely on solar power, they manage the long lunar nightspans by setting up grids that loop both poles at approximately 85° N and S, latitudes, depending on the terrain, of course. The Moon will produce power for Earth, and become the principal spaceport by which we open the rest of the Solar System and beyond. By the turn of the next century, hundreds of thousands of people, and maybe more, will live and work on the Moon. Profusely illustrated with B/W sketches, the authors take us through every well-reasoned and grounded step. For all of us interested in the Moon, this book is a must read. Do buy it!

5-0 out of 5 stars instant classic - ambitious primer with vision & scope
Take your pick of "must buy", "immediate classic", or "ambitious Primer with Vision and Scope". Not a few people have taken a hard in depth look at what it will take to establish a permanent outpost on the Moon - as if that was an end all and be all goal in and of itself. In this new volume, Schrunk and his team are clearly out to do more. Seeing the Moon in the much wider light as a world with consi-derable mineral resources and its strategic location on the shoulder of Earth1s gravity well, they outline a feasible, realistic scenario for the coming century. Their goal is not "a" moon base. It is a global integration of the Moon into Earth1s economy. Looking at the Moon1s resources, where they are located, and at which parts of the Moon have special advantages, they take us from a first south polar outpost step by step into a future when humans will be busy all over the Moon, and making money doing so. Their vision is grounded on established technologies, never depending on developments or breakthroughs that may or may not ever happen. On the airless Moon, good old fashion electric railroads (eventually MagLev) will be the principal way of moving goods and materials from one part of the globe to another. Relying solely on solar power, they manage the long lunar nightspans by setting up grids that loop both poles at approximately 85° N and S, latitudes, depending on the terrain, of course. The Moon will produce power for Earth, and become the principal spaceport by which we open the rest of the Solar System and beyond. By the turn of the next century, hundreds of thousands of people, and maybe more, will live and work on the Moon. Profusely illustrated with B/W sketches, the authors take us through every well-reasoned and grounded step. For all of us interested in the Moon, this book is a must read. Do buy it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Some day this all might become true!
I've been reading a lot of books about the moon and it's exploration lately. Some deal with the Apollo past but also some about the (near) future. This book gives a good overview of the aspects involved in developing a permanent base on the moon. It even deals with long term development of cities containing thousands of people. The concepts presented are viable although it presents some concepts that are to far into the future to my likings. It not only presents the theorectical concepts but also the work that has been done in relevant research areas and the problems encountered. It is not science fiction. Not only does the book cover the technical challenges but it also deals with economical and political aspects of a lunar base. If you want to get a clear picture of the current state of the art of lunar development this book is a very good starting point. ... Read more


8. Universe & CD-Rom
by William J. Kaufmann, Roger Freedman
list price: $88.95
our price: $88.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0716746476
Catlog: Book (2001-07-09)
Publisher: W. H. Freeman
Sales Rank: 230478
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent, informative, illuminating
This is a premier text for the fields of astromony and comsmology. Thorough, deep, professional, concise, technically and scientifically accurate, but also, imaginative, filled with the wonder of discovery and learning. Beginning with the ancient origins of astronomical pursuits, the reader is taken through the unfolding world of space and time. The electromagnetic spectrum, light and optics, telescopes, planet and solar system formations, stars-their nature, galaxies, quasars, black holes, all of these wonders are explored. Do yourself a flavor-get it!

5-0 out of 5 stars beautiful!
This book is beautiful. Well written, easy to read, with
nice and informative illustrations all over, full of
interesting details. The CD is also very interesting,
not only for Starry Night, but also because of very
illustrative simulations.
The level is between popular and introductory professional.
There is not much hard theory inside, but that was
probably not the aim of the authors.
Apart from a great thing to read for oneself, the niceness
of the edition makes it also a nice gift in my opinion.

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy it, if just for the CD
Excellent, informative, interesting book. Also, the CD-ROM contains some very interesting things. Especially informative is the Starry Night software that allows you to view and travel to the cosmos in person. It is both educational and also quite fun!

5-0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets
I had the fortune, and sometimes misfortune, to read a fair number of textbooks. All of them did promise to teach, though some proofed rather very disappointing on closer inspection.

This book on the other hand most certainly holds everything one can expect.

The book is divided into four parts: first, there is a small introction into the basics of astronomy, followed by a more in depth discussion of the solar system. The third part then covers stars and stellar evolution, while the final part is devoted to galaxies and cosmology.

The math required is minimal (i don't think the average high school graduate should have any problems), and a wealth of pictures and graphs, together with elaborate explanations in the text make sure, that this book will be a pleasure to learn from for the interested college student.

Every chapter (30 in all) ends with a short recapitulation of the most important concepts learned, a good number of review questions (to which the answers are supplied in the back of the book) and suggestions for further reading (books, magazines and weblinks).
The book comes also with a CD, on which there are further review tests to all chapters (of course with answers), as well as additional animations and much more.
As if that were not enough, there is a companion webside that offers additional tests and answers plus updated information, since after all, astronomy is progressing swiftly.

All in all, there cannot be much doubt that this is one of the best and most well rounded astronomy textbooks on the market. If you have to learn the basics of astronomy due to a course, or if you simply want to enrich your horizon, this book will make either task both easier and more enjoyable.

...

5-0 out of 5 stars Universe by Kaufmann & Freedman
Very well written for the typical college freshman or bright high school student. Requires little mathammatics, mostly algebra. Also colorfull, with many references including the internet. ... Read more


9. Astronomy: The Evolving Universe
by Michael Zeilik
list price: $65.00
our price: $65.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521800900
Catlog: Book (2002-01-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 493597
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Thoroughly updated and re-conceived, Astronomy, Ninth Edition, equips the introductory astronomy student with the essential tools for understanding the cosmos. Michael Zeilik has revised the pedagogy of his successful textbook based on recent research in astronomy education. Significantly shorter than the previous edition, the ninth edition is organized into four concept clusters: Cosmic Distances, Heavenly Motions, Celestial Light and Spectra, and Scientific Models. Material has been streamlined throughout to make the descriptions, concepts, and explanations clearer. Each chapter ends with a concise summary of the concepts in each cluster.Each chapter contains at least one Celestial Navigator, a concept map that provides a visual guide of major concepts in the chapter and explicity shows their connections.Throughout, illustrations have been updated to be clearer and more understandable to the novice student. Michael Zeilik, Professor of Physics and Astronomy and former Presidential Lecturer at the University of New Mexico, specializes in innovative, introductory courses for the novice, non-science major student.In 1998, he was appointed a Research Fellow at the National Institute of Science Education.Zeilik's work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Exxon Educational Foundation, and the Slipher Fund of the National Academy of Sciences.In 1997, the 8th edition of Astronomy: The Evolving Universe won a Texty Award from the Text and Academic Authors Association. In 2002 he was awarded the Astronomy Education Prize by the American Astronomical Society. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Starry, starry night...
Zeilik's book is one of the earliest systematic astronomy texts I ever read, beginning with the third edition back in 1982. That edition had four primary sections - Part I: Changing Concepts of the Cosmos; Part II: The Planets, Past and Present; Part III: The Universe of Stars and Galaxies; and Part IV: Cosmic Evolution.

Part I looks at the general structure of the universe, how it was conceived in the past, and how it is viewed today. Much of what is covered here falls under the general heading of cosmology. Zeilik has an interest in the history of astronomy, and it shows clearly in the text. He explores, among other topics, the Anasazi prehistoric astronomy discoveries, the Ptolemaic geocentric model, Tycho Brahe/Kepler's achievements, the discoveries of Newton and Galileo, and finally the birth of modern astrophysics. Some basic physics is introduced along the way, to make sense of radiation and optics, as well as gravitation and space-time concepts.

Part II looks at the nine planets of our solar system, including their satellites (moons), and the asteroids and other solar system objects (comets, etc.). Planetary sciences are among the fastest developing sciences around, so a lot of the information contained here is basic, and some updating is required. There is no mistake that the most current version of this text is now in its ninth edition. The final chapter in this subject looks at some of the theories of the origin and development of the solar system.

Part III looks at the universe beyond the planets, looking first at the sun as a typical small star, and then going further afield to look at the Milky Way, our local galaxy in some detail. This includes a look at other major formations and stars within the galaxy - some named stars of interest as well as celestial objects such as nebulae, and a discussion of interstellar distances and distribution (Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, etc.). The structure, kinematics and dynamics of spiral galaxies are explored, and then other types of galaxies (elliptical, etc.) and galactic clusters.

The final section, Part IV, looks at general evolution and development of the universe. Stellar evolution is the first subject, as one of the primary vehicles of universal development. The different ways in which a star dies are explored - white dwarves, neutron stars, supernovae, black holes, pulsars. The larger ideas of the origins and ultimate fate of the universe (cosmology again, at the end) are explored, including a brief discussion of the origins of life in the universe, and short discussions on topics such as SETI (called CETI here, Communication with ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence).

One of the useful aspects of this text is the 'Beyond the Book' sections after each chapter. These include information about periodicals (often the best way to find the latest information on astronomy topics), additional books and other resources. There are learning objectives listed at the beginning of each chapter, and convenient summaries, and some short exercises at the end of each chapter also.

There are several useful appendices, including lists of stars, planetary data, periodic table, and other such information. A very good glossary and index round out the book, making it an excellent text book for both classroom and independent use.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book for all
If you were ever interested in what is going on above in heavens, but didn't want to trouble yourself with too much equations and other non-esential stuff, then this is the book for you. It is a textbook, and it reads as a textbook. You'll find that everything is included: from our Solar system, to the nuclear processes in the stars, to the black holes. Descriptions are as they should be for the non-pros: comprehensive and simple (yet not trivial), well presented (love those many color pictures) and to the point. Great for an occasional star-gazer as well as astronomy students to revise their knowledge. And the Night Spectra Quest is a neat beginner's tool to examining star spectra. If you get more interested after studying this book, I recommend "An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics", which goes more deeply into the study of astrophysics and cosmology. ... Read more


10. Astronomy : The Solar System and Beyond (with AceAstronomy and InfoTrac)
by Michael A. Seeds
list price: $104.95
our price: $104.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0534421113
Catlog: Book (2004-04-15)
Publisher: Brooks Cole
Sales Rank: 301266
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With this newly revised 4th edition of ASTRONOMY: THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND, Mike Seeds' goal is to help students use astronomy to understand science and use science to understand what we are. Fascinating and engaging, this text illustrates the scientific method and guides students to these fundamental questions: "What are we?" and "How do we know?"In discussing the interplay between evidence and hypothesis, Seeds provides not just facts, but a conceptual framework for understanding the logic of science. The book vividly conveys his love of astronomy, and illustrates how students can comprehend their place in the universe by grasping a small set of physical laws. Crafting a story about astronomy, Mike shows students how to ask questions to gradually puzzle out the beautiful secrets of the physical world. With the use of mathematics set off in boxes, the book's presentation is flexible and allows instructors to teach to differing student levels. This is the only Seeds text to be written using a traditional planets-first approach. The revision addresses new developments in astrophysics and cosmology, plus the latest discoveries, from Mars' buried water to proto-galaxies at the limits of the observable universe.This edition is now fully integrated with a FREE, brand-new student tutorial system. AceAstronomy is Web-based, assessment-driven, contains book-specific activities, and is completely flexible, creating a personalized learning plan based on quiz results. This superior system gives students fun, interactive learning opportunities and a greater chance for success. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars a magnificent subject
A fun read if you are already keen on astronomy. But even if you are not, Seeds has presented an introductory course on the subject in an attractive and clear manner. Heavily illustrated with colour diagrams of many topics, you can find both a centuries long history, and the latest research observations. Especially for interplanetary exploration, for which there has been an enduring fascination by the public.

All this is presented in a consistent framework that can instill a sense of wonder in a student. Indeed, to a student with imagination and diligence, studying the book can convey a magnificent picture of the universe. ... Read more


11. The New CCD Astronomy: How to Capture the Stars With a CCD Camera in Your Own Backyard
by Ron Wodaski
list price: $49.95
our price: $42.46
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Asin: 0971123705
Catlog: Book (2002-01-01)
Publisher: Multimedia Madness Inc
Sales Rank: 36298
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The New CCD Astronomy is the #1 source of information about CCD astrophotography. It contains everything you need to know to become proficient at CCD imaging. Hundreds of detailed illustrations show you how to select equipment, take pictures, and process your images with a variety of software.

This book cover everything you need to know: How a CCD camera works; How to achieve critical focus; How to choose the right equipment (mount, telescope, and CCD camera); How to autoguide, and more.

You'll also learn the secrets of color imaging, the art of noise reduction, many image processing techniques, and specialized techniques for planets, nebulae, galaxies, etc.

Free with purchase: a one-year subscription to the New CCD Astronomy web site, including: a complete online version of the book; additional fully-illustrated tutorials; discussion groups moderated by the author; searchable database of CCD imaging targets; and a number of free software tools to improve your CCD imaging results. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best bang for the buck in a CCD imaging book
I'm surprised there aren't more reviews on this book since it is the first book recommended to anyone who has questions about CCD imaging. If you haven't tried imaging yet, and want to know what it is like, this book will describe what you might find on a typical night imaging under a variety of circumstances. If you want to buy equipment, the book discusses some of the more popular CCD instruments as well as software which is incredibly important in CCD astrophotography. (But you'll want to check contemporary sources of course, because models are always added and prices fluctuate.) It will help you match a scope to a good fit CCD camera and will discuss why certain focal ratios are better than others for beginners. You'll get an idea of how to capture actual images of deep space objects and/or planets. And, it will give you an idea of how to process all of those raw images you will eventually collect using Photoshop, Maxim DL and other software. You use different techniques depending on the type of object - planet, globular cluster, nebula, etc. And, you can download a PDF version of the book in full color, so you can have the resource on your computer at all times.

The only complaints I have about the book are extremely minor :

- It is a non-linear read. That probably can't be helped because everyone is going to come at the book with different levels of understanding. As you gain insight, you'll want to go back and reread sections, or skip ahead when a question raised in the current section but not answered.
- It is biased toward more expensive software and hardware. Much can be done with middle-of-the-road equipment or even lower end equipment, if you have the desire but not the funds so long as the emphasis is on FUN and not competing with the Hubble. However, the more $$ you throw at the problem, the less effort is required.
- With respect to this, it does not address webcam imaging with modified webcams but that's a very minor thing as theory can be applied straight across the board.

... You'll have to check out the publisher's site or Sky and Telescope to see what I mean. I think both books are must reads for anyone interested in imaging.

5-0 out of 5 stars The "Must-Have" Book for CCD Imaging
Having read nearly every book on the subject, I would say that if you must buy one book for CCD imaging, this is the book. Wodaski's book is a comprehensive how-to guide for anyone interested in or doing CCD imaging of astronomical objects. While Wodaski does cover the theoretical aspects of CCD work, he focuses most of his efforts on providing a step-by-step guide for the novice to the expert. Additional, puchasers of his book can join his web user group for personalized advice. Just two words...Buy It. ... Read more


12. In Quest of the Universe
by Karl F. Kuhn, Theo Koupelis
list price: $94.95
our price: $94.95
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Asin: 0763708100
Catlog: Book (2004-02-01)
Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Publishers
Sales Rank: 85340
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Quest of the Universe, Fourth Edition is a comprehensive introduction to astronomy designed for non-science majors. The book uses the development of astronomical theories, both historical and current, to show how science works. The authors take a "planets first" approach, engaging students with an exploration of our own solar system before moving on to the stars and then to distant galaxies. With accessible writing, stunning images, and up-to-date content, In Quest of the Universe, Fourth Edition sparks a curiosity about our universe. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars A high and clear path through the jungle of details.
I taught from this book (in 2 editions) for 6-7 years. Market forces assure that the content of college level astro books is quite uniform, but what sets Kuhn apart is his strong conceptual approach--he does a better job than most competitors in NOT BURYING the student under a welter of suffocating detail. He also tries to keep vocabulary to the minimum necessary. In other words, he works hard to combat that #1 demon infesting intro. college courses: factual overload. In recent years, other authors have jumped on the bandwagon of making astro texts more concise and focussed--beginning to cater to one of the strongest needs of the typical student--but Karl Kuhn was one of the first and best to blaze the conceptual trail. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars good price, clear explanation
This book is significantly cheaper than the competing books, but more important, it does a better job of explaining many topics. ... Read more


13. Gravitational N-Body Simulations : Tools and Algorithms (Cambridge Monographs on Mathematical Physics)
by Sverre J. Aarseth
list price: $110.00
our price: $110.00
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Asin: 0521432723
Catlog: Book (2003-10-23)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 444361
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This self-contained book presents basic methods of numerical simulation of gravitational systems, with applications in astronomy and cosmology. The first half of the book presents and explains the fundamental mathematical tools needed to describe the dynamics of a large number of mutually attractive particles. Particular attention is given to the techniques needed to model known planetary and astrophysical phenomena such as Hubble motion. The second half of the book demonstrates how to develop clear and elegant algorithms for models of gravitational systems. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars What we have been expecting!!!
This is an excellent book on simulation of n-body systems. The
author gives a very good description of several techniques and
algorithms together with some theoretical background. This is
the book to have on your desk if you don't want to have a pile
of pappers and other books. ... Read more


14. Nightwatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe
by Terence Dickinson
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 1552093026
Catlog: Book (1998-11-01)
Publisher: Firefly Books Ltd
Sales Rank: 719
Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The third edition of Nightwatch continues its tradition of being the best handbook for the beginning astronomer. Terence Dickinson covers all the problems beginners face, starting with the fact that the night sky does not look the way a modern city-dweller expects. He discusses light pollution, how to choose binoculars and telescopes, how to pronounce the names of stars and constellations, telescope mounts, averted vision, and why the harvest moon looks especially bright. Most of the lovely photographs in the book were taken by amateurs, which gives the section on astrophotography a particularly inspirational gleam.

Dickinson's star charts are very handy, each covering a reasonable field of view and mapping the most interesting amateur objects. He gives good advice for planet watching, which he notes "is one of the few astronomical activities that can be conducted almost as well from the city as from dark rural locations."

Altogether, the watchword for Nightwatch is indeed "practical"--this is a book to be used, not just read. Spiral-bound to lie flat or to fold back undamaged, it's a field guide that pulls its own weight in the field. Author Timothy Ferris says, "Like a good night sky, Nightwatch is clear and wind-free. Try it and see for yourself." --Mary Ellen Curtin ... Read more

Reviews (47)

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, practical ...
This book was recommended to me by an avid backyard astronomer when I mentioned I was interested in learning more about astronomy. I was absolutely delighted with this book. The photos are beautiful, the diagrams are excellent. It makes star/planet identification easy, gives guidance on buying a telescope, has a nice introductory chapter on the universe, putting everything in perspective. The writing is clear, straightforward, understandable. I am extremely pleased with my purchase, as I feel that this single book contains everything I really want to know at this time. I would recommend it to anyone who wants an interesting, comprehensible introduction to the night sky.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best beginner books
I got a beginner's telescope from Celestron (the FirstScope 114) as a gift, and was anxious to begin using it. I picked up a few books on beginning astronomy (but not NightWatch) and set to work using it. After fiddling with the telescope to align it correctly, and trying to use the star charts in the books I bought, I gave up. I had friend visitng from out of town who wanted to try the telescope again, so we dragged out the scope and the books and couldn't get anywhere once again.

Later, I received NightWatch as a gift, and its made a world of difference. The scheme for finding stars and other objects is much simpler than in other texts. Rather than use the celestial coordinate system (based on right ascension, R.A., and declination, Dec.), which requires that you align your telescope correctly, NightWatch uses a few key stars and constellations as pointers, and shows how to use your fingers and hand to measure celestial distances. From the reference points, you can easily navigate througout the sky.

If you don't already have a telescope, this is also a good book to purchase, as it has a discussion of different kinds of telescopes and their tradeoffs. NightWatch also has good information on using binoculars, which makes it easy to get started without plunking down much money, since most people own a pair.

Bottom line: Of the 4 beginner's books I have, NightWatch is by far the best.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but not great.
This is another one of Terence Dickinsons "backyard astronomy" books that is somewhat better than others of this particular "genre", but suffers by a somewhat superficial treatment of the practical aspects of the subject. The primary reason I purchased the book was for the 20 very good star charts contained. It was not until I started using these charts that I realized that many important Messier objects were not included!

Although the pictures are wonderful , and very attractive , I buy books of this type for information--not to "sell me" on being an amateur astronomer. I don't need "cheerleading". There are other books available that offer somewhat more information than this one--so 4 stars (more like 3.5 stars).

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect starter to the Astronomer's world
This book is greatly build up and covers every major aspect of Astronomy . In an understandable way and very plastic with supportive pictures you get to understand cohesions and basics about our solar system, the galaxies and the whole universe.
It puts emphasize on the star constellations and features great maps to navigate the sky. The ringbinding helps a lot to work with it in the field. And the paper is high quality and will take a lot of use.
This makes a great gift for anyone who is intersted in nature or wants to explore the night sky.
This is the absolute BEST BUY to start with!!! Nothing else.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for new astronomers.
For the money you can't go wrong this is an excellent book for people just starting out in astronomy or who need a better understanding of the night sky and where to locate things. This book is packed full of info. and nice color photographs to go along with the many things you can see in a small telescope. I wouldnt really suggest this book though to those who allready know how to locate things and have a good understanding of astronomy. For the new person though theres tons of night time sky charts with details of nebulas and everything else in that part of the sky. Theres an excellent part that shows you how to measure the distances between stars & constellations to locate those harder to find subjects!! An excelent book that deserves a 5 star review. I forgot to mention that it's spiral bound so this makes it easy to lay flat and keep on a certain page. And don't forget take your time with the book to learn things the night sky isnt going anywhere! ... Read more


15. The New Quantum Universe
by Tony Hey, Patrick Walters
list price: $34.99
our price: $23.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521564573
Catlog: Book (2003-10-23)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 18984
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The principles of quantum mechanics are the basis of everything in the physical world--from atoms to stars, from nuclei to lasers. Quantum paradoxes and the eventful life of Schroedinger's Cat are explained, along with the Many Universe explanation of quantum measurement in this newly revised edition. Updated throughout, the book also looks ahead to the nanotechnology revolution and describes quantum cryptography, computing and teleportation.Including an account of quantum mechanics and science fiction, this accessible book is geared to the general reader. Anthony Hey teaches at the University of Southampton, UK, and is the co-author of several books, including two with Patrick Walters, The Quantum Universe (Cambridge, 1987), and Einstein's Mirror (Cambridge , 1997).Patrick Walters is a Lecturer in Continuing Education at the University of Wales at Swansea.He co-ordinates the Physical Science Programme in DACE which includes the Astronomy Programme.His research interests include science education, and he also writes non-technical books on science for the general reader and beginning undergraduates.First Edition Pb (1987): 0-521-31845-9 ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars my idea of fun!
I'm a novice in this area and this is the first book I read on the subject. On my first reading, I was only able to fully comprehend about 80% of this introduction to a most facinating subject matter. I must say that I enjoyed reading about all of it including the 20% I couldn't fully comprehend. The authors claim that no advanced math is necessary, but knowledge of differential calculus would help with the Shrodinger Equation. Perhaps my weakness in math (which I will soon address) accounts for the 20% I don't really understand at this point.

This book has plenty of beautiful pictures and illustrations of the technologies and experiements discussed. Each chapter is well written and a joy to read. Chapters include the following:

1) Waves Versus Particles
2) Heisenberg and Uncertaintity
3) Shrodinger and Matter Waves
4) Atoms and Neuclei
5) Quantum Tunneling
6) Pauli and the Elements
7) Quantum Co-Operation and Superfluids
8) Quantum Jumps
9) Quantum Engineering

10) Death of a Star
11) Feynman Rules
12) Weak Photons and Strong Glue
13) Afterward - Quantum Physics and Science Fiction

For a beginner, such as myself, it's the kind of book that's challenging in a good way. I found myself constantly wanting to pick this book up to read as much as I could. I was always looking forward to what was comming next. I highly recommend it for anyone curious about the subject matter.

5-0 out of 5 stars The New Quantum Universe
The Quantum Universe was very good. The New Quantum Universe is excellent. Its authors write with a clarity and dash rarely achieved for what can be (and is) a daunting subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quantum effects are all around us
When you think about quantum physics, you may be inclined to think small. Many people naturally think that quantum effects happen only on a scale that, for most of us, isn't relevant. Hey and Walters, though, help us think again. Quantum effects are in the world all around us. Indeed, the universe would be very different if the rules of quantum mechanics were not what they are.

The stated purpose of this book is to "present the essential ideas of quantum physics as simply as possible and demonstrate how quantum physics affects us all." After reading the book, I have to agree that Hey and Walters have succeeded on both accounts. They've achieved their goal by laying the book out in a careful and logical manner, including filling it with lots of informative and nicely made illustrates (on average, more than one for each page).

The book begins by discussing the classical differences between waves and particles. Most of us have been introduced to quantum mechanics this way. First learning how quantum-mechanical objects act like "particles" some of the time, and "waves" part of the time. An important point made by the authors is that particles and waves are idealizations. In reality, quantum-mechanical objects cannot be described by any simple picture. Overcoming this conceptual obstacle is one of the first challenges for someone who is first becoming acquainted with QM. This is a point made by their careful discussion about the results and implications of double-slit experiments.

This book has equations. Not many, and not too difficult (mostly just algebra). It's really written at a High School or Freshman College level. The ideas introduced are mostly qualitative. I think this makes the book an excellent introduction. I certainly wish I'd had something like this before taking my first QM class. Having a qualitative and conceptual understanding before diving into the mathematics is a more productive approach.

Leaving the chapter on waves and uncertainty, the authors introduce the reader to the weird world of the uncertainty principle, which is the strange characteristic of quantum-mechanical objects that they don't actually have an exact position/velocity until it's measured. There's an excellent series of photographs that illustrate the uncertainty principle in a macroscopic object by using a sequence showing the probabilistic formation of a camera image over time. The book quotes often from Richard Feynman, and this chapter has an introductory description of Feynman's diagrams/quantum paths.

These discussions lead naturally to the Schrodinger equation and matter probability waves. Again, there's a little mathematics here (the differential equation for a particle moving in one dimension, in a potential). The authors illustrate the tie-in with the macroscopic world by illustrating a photograph of some dust mites, made by using the quantum-mechanical nature of electrons.

Chapter 4 is one of the best, in my opinion. It's about the structure of atoms. When this subject was first introduced to me over 35 years ago, the explanation faltered and it took several more years before I felt comfortable in my understanding. How I wish I'd had this book then. The explanation here is crisp and clear, and does a nice job of explaining the notation used for the different quantum-energy levels and how they relate to things like the angular momentum.

How atoms are made affects our everyday lives. The fact that bosons and fermions have different statistical distributions makes a huge difference in how macroscopic objects behave. In fact, we would probably not be alive to notice how different the universe would be without these specific characteristics at the quantum level. One of the best examples is found in the life sequence of stars, where the quantum-mechanical structure of stars is inherently related to their evolution. There's an excellent chapter in this book that describes how stars work, how they are born, what makes them shine, and how they die. In each step, the laws of quantum mechanics govern the evolutionary process.

Other topics covered include superconductivity, superfluidity, Feynman diagrams, Hawking radiation and black holes, the weak and strong forces, the Higgs vacuum, particle accelerators, lasers, monopoles, and quark confinement. The book also has several informative appendixes in the back, that supply additional mathematical information, including a simple solution to the Schrodinger equation.

This book is a little like Chandrasekhar's book "Why Things Are the Way They Are," with a touch of the flavor found in Sam Trieman's book "The Odd Quantum." Both of these other books are among my favorite introductory texts, and "The Quantum Universe" sits on my bookshelf next to them.

This is a well-written book that makes an excellent introduction for students, and enjoyable leisure reading by scientists and engineers who've already had a college class in quantum mechanics. The illustrations and photographs add to the expressive and clear writing style to make this a book I can heartily recommend

5-0 out of 5 stars an extremely good book about modern physics
this is an excellent book, from the beginning to the end. it introduces all the modern physics concepts with very clean explanations and beautiful colorful pictures. i just love it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Very Entertaining Book
An extremely interesting book on physics for an average readerr.If you're a guy who has forgotten most of what you learned in college physics courses and want to pick it up a little bit, and have a little fun in the mean while, this book is for you. ... Read more


16. New Cosmic Horizons: Space Astronomy from the V2 to the Hubble Space Telescope
by David Leverington
list price: $60.00
our price: $24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521658330
Catlog: Book (2001-02-15)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 453607
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

New Cosmic Horizons tells the extraordinary story of space-based astronomy since the Second World War. Starting with the launch of the V2 rocket in 1946, this book explores the triumphs of space experiments and spacecraft designs and the amazing astronomical results that they have produced. David Leverington examines the fascinating way in which the changing political imperatives of the United States, USSR/Russia and Western Europe have modified their space astronomy programs. He covers all major astronomy missions of the first fifty years of space research: the Soviet Sputnik and American Explorer projects, the subsequent race to the moon, solar and planetary missions, and the wonders of modern astrophysics culminating in the exciting results of the Hubble Space Telescope. Extensively illustrated, New Cosmic Horizons offers amateur and professional astronomers an unusual perspective on the history of astronomy in our time.David Leverington was Design Manager of the GEOS Spacecraft and Meteosat Program Manager for ESA in the 1970s. During his tenure as Engineering Director at British Aerospace in the 1980s, he was responsible for the Giotto spacecraft that intercepted Halley's comet, and the Photon Detector Assembly and solar arrays for the Hubble Space Telescope. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He lives in Essex, England. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The fascinating history of space-based astronomy
In New Cosmic Horizons: Space Astronomy From The V2 To The Hubble Space Telescope, David Leverington reveals the fascinating history of space-based astronomy from the launching of the V! rocket in 1946 down to the present day. Here are all the triumphs of the space experiments and spacecraft designs that have produced the spectacular astronomical results in the last half of the twentieth century. Profusely illustrated and with a comprehensive, "reader friendly" text ideal for both astronomy students, astronomy professionals, and the interested non-specialist general reader, New Cosmic Horizons will prove to be an essential, core addition to any personal, academic or community library reference collection. ... Read more


17. An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics
by Bradley W. Carroll, Dale A. Ostlie
list price: $132.00
our price: $132.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0201547309
Catlog: Book (1995-12-11)
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Sales Rank: 306631
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Very difficult to teach from
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.

5-0 out of 5 stars A superb introductory text
Carroll's 'Introduction to Modern Astrophysics' is admittedly the best textbook out there for a simple, comprehensive introduction to astrophysics. Generally suited for an intermediate/advanced course in astrophysics/astronomy, this book can in fact be used as a self-study text for those interested in knowing how physical principles and simple but elegant mathematics explain a lot about how the universe works. From Kepler's mechanics to Einstein's General Relativity, this book could not have been written in a better way. It is sure to create an immediate interest and thrill for the subject since it covers the whole of astrophysics and the chapters are well-supplemented with exercises designed to round up everything.
I've been using this text for a semester course in astrophysics in my sophomore year and I really enjoyed reading through the text, specially the last few chapters which deal with the relativity theory of gravitation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent and encyclopedic
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.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have for astrophysics beginners and theory lovers!
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. ... Read more


18. Turn Left at Orion: A Hundred Night Sky Objects to See in a Small Telescope--and How to Find Them
by Guy Consolmagno, Dan M. Davis, Karen Kotash Sepp, Anne Drogin, Mary Lynn Skirvin
list price: $25.00
our price: $16.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521781906
Catlog: Book (2000-10-19)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 4531
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A superb guidebook described in Bookwatch as 'the home astronomer's "bible"', Turn Left at Orion provides all the information beginning amateur astronomers need to observe the Moon, the planets and a whole host of celestial objects. Large format diagrams show these objects exactly as they appear in a small telescope and for each object there is information on the current state of our astronomical knowledge. Revised and updated, this new edition contains a chapter with ten new spreads describing spectacular deep sky objects visible from the southern hemisphere, and tips on observing the upcoming transits of Venus. It also discusses Dobsonian telescopes, with hints on using personal computers and the Internet as aids for planning an observing session. Also new to this edition are redrawn "Guidepost" figures at the beginning of each season chapter that allow readers to visualize a three-dimensional view of the sky's dome; redesigned seasonal object layouts that provide more space for the naked-eye charts; a new spread on double stars near Boötes has been added to Spring, replacing the "Shrinking Double" spread; and a unique "When and Where to Look" table has been added to the last page, among other new features. Unlike many guides to the night sky, this book is specifically written for observers using small telescopes. Clear and easy to use, this fascinating book will appeal to skywatchers of all ages and backgrounds. No previous knowledge of astronomy is needed. ... Read more

Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars The reviews nailed it
I had a telescope sitting in a corner looking pretty but gathering dust for three years, until I found this book. "Turn Left at Orion" has turned me on to amateur astronomy because of its straightforward, assume-nothing presentations. Using this book at my own pace, I've begun to learn the night sky and get excited about using my scope. Even though I live in the city, I find myself gazing skyward every clear night, browsing a now-familiar sky. There are other aids you'll need as an amateur astronomer, but nothing I've seen is more perfect for a beginner.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Sky Tour with Knowlegeable Friends
In his introduction, Guy Consolmagno recalls how his friend Dan introduced him to the night skies one evening with a "tour" consisting of simple directions. "Find Orion, now look to the left ..." Guy was leaving for Africa soon -- a land of dark, starry night skies, and he regretted that he couldn't take Dan with him. Well, years later, Dan and Guy have distilled that experience into this classic and wonderful book. Guy couldn't take Dan along, but you can take both of them -- now professional astronomers -- with you as your guides. Reading this book is like having them there, pointing out popular and favorite objects in the sky. They do everything but reach out and point the telescope for you. In fact, they do better than that: they show you, in the clearest, simplest way, how to do it yourself. They show you how to find nebulae, clusters, double stars and other interesting objects, and then they explain what you are looking at. It really does feel like they are there, giving advice as you tour the showpieces of the Northern night sky. The book's only real "fault" -- if you can call it that -- is that it is written from the point of view of observers living in the Northern hemisphere. One can only hope that Southern observers have an equally good introductory book. Read, observe, and enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars The ESSENTIAL book for beginning astronomers
Just starting to look at the night sky with a small telescope or binoculars? Buy this book. I spent many a frustrated night with my new scope, trying in vain to find galaxies and other interesting objects in the heavens. Half a dozen other sky guides were no help -- and the astrophotographs they offered gave me no clue to what I might actually see with my own eyes. "Turn Left at Orion" transformed me from a galaxy hunter to a galaxy finder even while stargazing under light-polluted suburban skies. Clearly and entertainingly written, TLAO never leaves the reader lost and offers interesting background on what you are viewing as well as other essential information such as "How to run a telescope." My copy is now a year old and is the most-used volume in my stargazing library. It's one of those rare books that can be used by a "square one" beginner or a clueless parent trying to show a youngster how to use a telescope yet still will a delight to an amateur astronomer with more experience. Here's a recipe for years of awe-inspiring after-dark entertainment: a small telescope or 7X50 binoculars, a copy of Turn Left at Orion, a red-lens flashlight (so you can refer to the TLAO in the dark without losing your night vision), and clear skies.

4-0 out of 5 stars Extremely useful book!
Having a lifelong interest in amateur astronomy , this book was a natural for me to seek out. I borrowed a copy from the library before I decided whether or not to make a purchase.

This particular book is one of the very few that I would recommend to a beginning backyard astronomer , the other being Phil Harrington's Star Watch. Both use a technique called "star hopping" to find the celestial objects of interest , and each has a particular "style" of doing so.

"Turn Left at Orion" uses a technique using the viewfinder field of view to move from an easy to find star or some other object to follow a path to the desired object.

What I liked about the book:

(1) A very good representative selection of deep sky objects.
(2) Each object has an eyepiece sketch that accurately depicts how the object looks in a small telescope.
(3) A small scale star chart with the star hops depicted is included along with finding directions.

What I disliked:

(1) The eyepiece sketches were simply listed as "at high power" or "at low power". Some basic information about the eyepiece type , magnification , and focal length should be included to be meaningful.
(2) The scale of the finder charts was too small , and better directions are needed to find some of the smaller and more obscure constellations ; i.e. Triangulum and Aries.
(3) Having to take it back to the library!

Even though I have a few criticisms of the book , it is very ,very good. If I didn't already have Harrington's book I would rush right out and buy a copy.(They tend to overlap too much!) I give this a 4+ star rating , and if a few improvements are made in a later edition it could easily become one of my favorites to recommend and own.

5-0 out of 5 stars Batteries not included...
In an astronomical world that's becoming increasingly dominated by computerised 'goto' telescopes, here's a book that shows the budding amateur that the old method of 'star-hopping' is still a valid and satisfying alternative: Turn left at Orion.

Many budding observers are daunted by the prospect of 'learning the sky' well enough to find their way to those elusive deep sky objects. And even when the desired target is perfectly centred in the eyepiece, it's often so difficult to recognise that the search resumes unnecessarily. When a positive identification is finally made, one wonders if the exercise was worth all the effort. Why? Because, visually, they don't look anything like their flattering portrait photographs.

The end result is frustration and disappointment.

Well, here's the book that changed my astronomical life: it taught most of the major constellations, and plenty of minor ones to boot; it showed me how to star-hop to the more interesting deep sky objects within them; and it also changed my expectations of what I would see when I got there.

Literally, this is a 'star-hopping made easy' bible.

The book works on the assumption that the reader is prepared to learn up front just a few of the major constellations. The Big Dipper, (or Plough to the Brits, or 'Pluff' to them southerners), is one that most people can recognise straight off. But it helps to be able to spot the big square of autumn's Pegasus, winter's unmistakable Orion the hunter, spring's sickle-necked Leo the Lion, and the big cross of summer's Cygnus the swan. These are all good starting points, and won't cost much effort to learn beyond a cricked neck.

The book feels like it's been written from copious notes acquired during many years of practical observing. There's a section per seasonal, with two pages devoted to each particular object. And the objects really are a good primer for the northern deep sky: nebulas, globular clusters, open clusters aplenty of course, some galaxies, and a good sprinkling of those oft neglected double stars. On the left page you'll find a typical upside-down finder-scope view of the target area, plus a description of which stars to use to guide you there. On the right page is a typical left-to-right telescopic view of the object itself, plus good textual descriptions.

And here's the clever bit: all of the illustrations are beautifully hand-drawn to show truthfully how they appear at the eyepiece; none of those misleading full colour observatory-type photographs here: what you see is what you, er, see. Fear not if an illustration fails to take your fancy; keep turning the page until one catches your eye.

So how does it work under the night sky?

Well, it works beautifully. Turn to the correct page, and locate the general target area using your (ahem) marginal knowledge of the constellations, then visually hop from star to star as advised. Aim your telescope, then switch to the finder-scope to identify the exact location. Slip in an eyepiece of about the recommended magnification, and the object's usually 'just there', or at the very least within easy reach. For those objects requiring high powers, the book recommends using a less powerful eyepiece first to properly centre the target. Really, I and countless others have followed this advice to good effect.

Okay, it'll take you a year of observing to learn your way around. It takes that long for each season's constellations, and their hidden treasures, to come around. Time enough to learn the stars a little better, and time enough to gain confidence. In a way, one will learn the more obscure constellations for free; "What's that? Oh yes, it must be Delphinus, so that funny arrow below is, er, Sagitta...right?" (flick, flick of the page) "I was right!" And anyway, it'll take you at least a year to get bored with the selection that this book offers.

What do I have against this book? Not much... well, it's a shame there isn't a sequel for next year.

Oh, and batteries are not included. ... Read more


19. Hyperspace : A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension
by MICHIO KAKU
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385477058
Catlog: Book (1995-02-01)
Publisher: Anchor
Sales Rank: 8425
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

How many dimensions do you live in? Three? Maybe that's all your commonsense sense perception perceives, but there is growing and compelling evidence to suggest that we actually live in a universe of ten real dimensions. Kaku has written an extraordinarily lucid and thought-provoking exploration of the theoretical and empirical bases of a ten-dimensional universe and even goes so far as to discuss possible practical implications--such as being able to escape the collapse of the universe. Yikes. Highly Recommended. ... Read more

Reviews (170)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Introduction to Hyperspace
This is an odyssey into the history of development of the concept of hyperspace that includes fourth and higher spatial dimensions to account for the riddles and unsolved problems of unified field theory. Since the postulation of special theory of relativity, Einstein and subsequent physicists until now have struggled to explain the four natural forces; the electromagnetic force (explained by Maxwell's field equations for electricity & magnetism); the strong and weak nuclear forces (explained by Yang - Mills field equations for subatomic forces); and the gravitational force (explained by Einstein's field equations of gravitation and relativity) by one unified field theory (theory of everything: String Theory). In other words, unifying the forces of the big, the cosmos, and the laws of the small, the microcosm (subatomic forces) by one single theory. The first part of the book describes how laws of nature become so simple to understand if higher dimensions are invoked; the author gives us a good historical background to build his case for hyperspace concept. The second part of the book describes the evolution of quantum mechanics and String theory. An introduction to wormholes, black holes and the use of these cosmic bodies for interstellar travel is given in the third part. The fourth part rambles through the future of the universe with irrelevant and some times out of focus narrative. The book is entirely free of physics and mathematics; from the point of understanding the basic concepts this approach is welcome. This book also gives an insight into the poignant story of Riemann (p.42) and Ramanujan (p.174) who sustained enormous personal and family hardships to contribute significantly in the field of mathematics. We also get a glimpse of academic rat race that involves professional rivalry, name & work recognition, and personal ego that is prevalent in academics. This is illustrated when Einstein delays Kaluza's paper for publication for 2 years (p.102). Bohr calling Pauli's lecture crazy (p.137); Sheldon Glashow ridiculing t'Hooft's work (p.121); a superior discouraging Mahahiko Suzuki's publication about Euler's Beta function (p.161); and Pauli being furious about Eisenberg's claim, Einstein - Bohr argument, and Schrodinger frustrated with Bohr's interpretation (p.261).

The author rambles about symmetry in arts; what is that got to do with hyperspace? The reader can find this discussion in any art book. Time travel has been described in layman's language in many books in depth; this discussion is unnecessary for this book. Throughout the book, the author refers to standard model and the equations of quantum mechanics as ugly; Equations are not ugly, they are complex or non-symmetrical.

The author could have devoted one chapter to describing the field equations in layman's terms; it would have helped a more enthusiastic reader to build a bridge to physics and tensor calculus. The reader should not be discouraged about mathematics in understanding relativity; many physicists themselves are heading to the library to learn about mathematics in String theory (Part 2). More appropriate title of the book could be hyperspace - a historical development of String theory. Despite the minor concerns, this book has strong points as observed above. I encourage the reader to buy this book; if you are not happy with this book, it is less than two-lunch money (page numbers from 1994 edition).

4-0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Third Dimension
Everyone of us were born to comprehend the 3-dimensional world that we live in, and most of us would view time as the forth. In "Hyperspace", Kaku introduces the concept of dimensions beyond the third, and what these dimensions mean to us. Apart from talking about the possibilities of deriving a unified theory of all physical laws in higher dimensions, wormholes were also described in details as to how they could be used for travelling between different dimensions and universes, and more interestingly, how they could be used to travel through time. Most of the concepts were backed by examples and stories (including those of Kaku's childhood memories) which, not only allows the readers to easily grasp them, but also makes them more interesting to follow. However, one may start to wonder how on earth could Kaku's parents allow (and assist) their child to perform such horrific experiments!

This book was written primarily for the general public. Having said this, some moderate background and interests in physics are necessary, but then again you probably wouldn't be reading this review to start with if you weren't interested in "Hyperspace", right?

To sum up, I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants to find out more about the higher dimensions. Although there were occasions when I felt that Kaku has gone into too much details on the stories he quoted, which themselves could have been another interesting read if I wasn't told of the endings...

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
VERY GOOD book written by the extremely smart and well-rounded scientist. Very easy to follow.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Rambling Tour of Modern Phsyics
This book was written ten years ago but it still holds up well. Michio Kaku examines the theories of multi-dimensional space in an entertaining and educational book. His explanations are so clear that 10-dimensional space actually made sense. The book is somewhat a rambling adventure. Kaku takes us on a tour, introducing us to an interesting cast of characters including the sad story of Georg Bernhard Riemann who developed key equations for analyzing multi-dimensional space in the 1800's. The tour differs from a typical physics book in that instead of giving us the basic lecture of the advance of physics, Kaku approaches everything from a slightly different angle. In trying to help us understand multi-dimensional space, he looks not just at science but in art and literature. To emphasize a point he might explain it using something from his own career or from a science fiction story. The main problem with the book is that the author does tend to get off topic and ramble at certain points in the book. Stories about what an intelligent culture might do as the Universe ends doesn't really fit into the flow of the book and since we really have no idea how the Universe will end, it all seemed a bit pointless. I started to get the idea that Kaku had a number of pages in mind and was trying to fill the book with a lot of different ideas he has had floating around to reach that number. But don't let me scare you away. At least two-thirds of this book is brilliant writing that will make you think, help you understand modern theories of physics, and entertain you. I can forgive the author's ramblings when he provides that much in a few hundred pages.

4-0 out of 5 stars An effective and truly genius approach!
Michio Kaku does an excellent job of mixing a touch of history and introductory ideas with detailed and concrete physics information. Packed with a sort of "timeline" approach to the changing world of physics, from the "mainstream" ideas of Einstein, Newton and Maxwell to newer ideas such as string theory and the multiverse. An excellent addition to any physics library, this book will broaden your physics vocabulary and knowledge of physics history ; including its influences on society and the art world alike. Sure to open up new dimensions of thought in an easy-to-understand format. ... Read more


20. The Illustrated Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe
by Stephen W. Hawking
list price: $29.95
our price: $29.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1932407073
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: New Millennium
Sales Rank: 85286
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In physicist Stephan Hawking's brilliant opus, A Brief History Of Time, he presented us with a bold new look at our universe, how it began, and how our old views of physics and tired theories about the creation of the universe were no longer relevant. In other words, Hawking gave us a new look at our world, our universe, and ourselves.

Now, available for the first time in a deluxe full-color edition with never-before-seen photos and illustrations, Hawking presents an even more comprehensive look at our universe, its creation, and how we see ourselves within it. Imagine sitting in a comfortable room listening to Hawking discuss his latest theories and place them in historical context with science'sother great achievements-it would be like hearing Christopher Columbus deliver the news about the new world. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Men please dont kill this book but let it live.
I apreciated the non illustrated edition and I tried to buy this many times but always it seemed like an offence to Hawking because he does not endorse this book, and I gived up.
But now I need make supplys for hollydays so I need to order it in peace and I like to give it a better rate.
Why? no reason, I still am Palatinum Count of last Imperor (Carlos I) and I can legitimate illegitimates men and books.
I know this seems irrelevant,but if the greatest living mathematician disclaim his own writes he hurt an instinct that I wish to keep alive,because in tales there is always a theory of everything and tales are more important than full copyright.
So stop grumbling with Morgana I recognise you Merlin! ... Read more


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