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Recommended Astrophysics books?

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Can anyone recommend a decent, readable, up-to-date, Astrophysics text book - probably at undergraduate level?

I did Astrophysics as part of my degree 20 odd years ago, so I'm not afraid of the maths side of it, but I've forgotten most of it since then and, anyway, the science has moved on. I'm really looking for something that covers the field in breadth rather than particular areas in depth. I guess the one I'm looking for is the one that all the 2nd year students recommend to the first years as 'you must buy this one'...

cheers,

Robin

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Universe. R. Freedman and W. Kaufmann III. 2002. Freeman & Company, New York.

This is the textbook in both a first-year and second-year astronomy course I've taken. A very good broad coverage from solar system, through stellar evolution, to galaxy evolution. Excellent book, easy to read, good exercises, and a companion website.

- Richard

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An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics by Carroll and Ostlie, a 1400 page book, is a standard.

An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics: Amazon.co.uk: Bradley W. Carroll, Dale A. Ostlie: Books

An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics: Amazon.co.uk: Bradley W. Carroll, Dale A. Ostlie: Books

If you want something a little shorter, you might try Foundations of Astrophysics by Ryden and Peterson,

Foundations of Astrophysics: Amazon.co.uk: Barbara Ryden, Bradley M. Peterson: Books

Pearson - Foundations of Astrophysics - Barbara Ryden & Bradley M. Peterson.

I have Ryden's introductory cosmology book,

Introduction to Cosmology: Amazon.co.uk: Barbara Ryden: Books

which I think is fantastic,so I considered Ryden and Peterson, but, in the end, I got Carroll and Ostlie.

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Universe. R. Freedman and W. Kaufmann III. 2002. Freeman & Company, New York.

Yes, I have this book, and it is excellent. I think the latest edition is by Freedman alone. Kaufmann passed away quite a few years ago.

I'm not quite sure what Robin means by

I did Astrophysics as part of my degree 20 odd years ago, so I'm not afraid of the maths side of it,. .. I guess the one I'm looking for is the one that all the 2nd year students recommend to the first years as 'you must buy this one'...

Do you mean something that could by used as a text by a second-year phsyics major?

Edited by George Jones

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I like Kaufmann, too, but the level is at the 'accessible' end of the scale - which suits me fine!

Olly

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Thanks folks, looks like some very interesting suggestions - I will go and dig around on Amazon to see if they have preview pages available of these (always nice to get a feel for the tone of a book and how well the layout flows).

George, my last comment was really along the lines that I was looking for the sort of books that the students recommend having read them. I remember getting long reading lists from the professors at Uni, but many of these would be dry, dusty and difficult to read. If you went and had a word with the students in the year above you, they'd give you the real dirt on which books were most useful.

thanks again,

Robin

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Another vote for Universe. I have the fourth edition which is I think the last one that Kaufmann wrote. It's my astronomy "bible".

Dave

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I'm surprised noone else has reccomended "An Introduction to the Theory of Stellar Structure and Evolution" by Dina Prialnik (2nd edition, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-86604-0) which is reasonably priced .... if the preamble doesn't scare you off ... the phrase "An Introduction to" used to give me the screaming heebie jeebies when I was an undergraduate, and things haven't changed much in 35 years.

Seriously, it's a solid work. You said that you're not afraid of the maths ... OK then, go for it.

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Hi there Brian,

I was really looking for something a bit broader than just stellar structure - I expect I'll buy the 'Universe' book for starters when I get near the bottom of my current 'to read' pile. I certainly know what you mean about textbooks with 'an introduction to' or even 'a primer' in the title - often deceptively thin and fiendishly hard reading!

thanks,

Robin

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