By Marc L. Kutner

This totally revised and up-to-date textual content is a accomplished advent to astronomical items and phenomena. via utilizing a few simple actual ideas to a number of occasions, scholars will relate daily physics to the astronomical global. beginning with the easiest items, the textual content comprises motives of ways and why astronomical phenomena take place, and the way astronomers acquire and interpret information regarding stars, galaxies and the sun method. The textual content seems on the homes of stars, superstar formation and evolution; neutron stars and black holes; the character of galaxies; and the constitution of the universe. It examines the prior, current and destiny states of the universe; and ultimate chapters use the ideas which have been built to check the sunlight procedure, its formation; the potential of discovering different planetary platforms; and the quest for extraterrestrial existence. This entire textual content comprises necessary equations, bankruptcy summaries, labored examples and end-of-chapter challenge units.

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Extra resources for Astronomy: A Physical Perspective (2nd Edition)

Sample text

The speed of these waves can be predicted from Maxwell’s equations. The speed of these waves in a vacuum is the same at all wavelengths, and turns out to be numerically equal to c, the speed of light. Light is just one form of electromagnetic wave. Other forms have wavelengths that fall in different ranges. 1). The visible spectrum is just a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. At longer wavelengths are infrared and radio waves. At shorter wavelengths are the ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma-ray parts of the spectrum.

The functions must reflect that difference (especially since they will need different units). We therefore require that I(␭, T) d␭ ϭ I(␯, T) d␯ Solving for I(␭, T) gives I(␭, T) ϭ I(␯, T) (d␯/d␭) To find I(␭, T) we must be able to evaluate d␯/d␭. 10a) We don’t care about the minus sign, which just tells us that frequency increases when wavelength decreases. 10c) Remember, the Planck function accurately describes blackbody spectra, but it was originally presented as an empirical formula. There was still no theoretical understanding of the origin of the formula.

That is This quantity is called the solar luminosity, L᭪, and serves as a convenient unit for expressing the luminosities of other stars. 6) This relationship is called the Stefan–Boltzmann law. The constant of proportionality, ␴, is called the Stefan–Boltzmann constant. 7 ϫ 10Ϫ5 erg/(cm2 K4 s). This law was first determined experimentally, but it can also be derived theoretically. The T 4 dependence means that E depends strongly on T. If we double the temperature of an object, the rate at which it gives off energy goes up by a factor of 16.

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