The twentieth century witnessed the development of astrophysics and cosmology from subjects which scarcely existed to two of the most exciting and demanding areas of contemporary scientific inquiry. In this book Malcolm Longair reviews the historical development of the key areas of modern astrophysics, linking the strands together to show how they have led to the extraordinarily rich panorama of modern astrophysics and cosmology. While many of the great discoveries were derived from pioneering observations, the emphasis is upon the development of theoretical concepts and how they came to be accepted. These advances have led astrophysicists and cosmologists to ask some of the deepest questions about the nature of our Universe and have pushed astronomical observations to the very limit. This is a fantastic story, and one which would have defied the imaginations of even the greatest storytellers.
Malcolm Longair is Emeritus Jacksonian Professor of Natural Philosophy and Director of Development at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. He has held many highly distinguished positions within physics and astronomy and has served on and chaired many international committees, boards and panels, working with both NASA and the European Space Agency. He has received much recognition for his work, including the Pilkington Prize of the University of Cambridge for Excellence in Teaching and a CBE in the millennium honours list for his services to astronomy and cosmology. His previous well-received books for Cambridge University Press include Theoretical Concepts in Physics (2003), The Cosmic Century: A History of Astrophysics and Cosmology (2005) and High Energy Astrophysics (2011).
Part I. Stars and Stellar Evolution up to the Second World War: 1. The legacy of the nineteenth century; 2. The classification of stellar spectra; 3. Stellar structure and evolution; 4. The end points of stellar evolution; Part II. The Large-Scale Structure of the Universe, 1900-39: 5. The Galaxy and the nature of spiral nebulae; 6. The origins of astrophysical cosmology; Part III. The Opening up of the Electromagnetic Spectrum: 7. The opening up of the electromagnetic spectrum and the new astronomies; Part IV. The Astrophysics of Stars and Galaxies since 1945: 8. Stars and stellar evolution; 9. The physics of the interstellar medium; 10. The physics of galaxies and clusters of galaxies; 11. High-energy astrophysics; Part V. Astrophysical Cosmology since 1945: 12. Astrophysical cosmology; 13. The determination of cosmological parameters; 14. The evolution of galaxies and active galaxies with cosmic epoch; 15. The origin of galaxies and the large-scale structure of the Universe; 16. The very early Universe; References; Name index; Object index; Subject index.