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Gravity from the Ground Up


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Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Gravity on Earth: the inescapable force; 2. And then came Newton: gravity takes center stage; 3. Satellites: what goes up doesn't always come down; 4. The Solar System: a triumph for Newtonian gravity; 5. Tides and tidal forces: the real signature of gravity; 6. Interplanetary travel: the cosmic roller-coaster; 7. Atmospheres: keeping planets covered; 8. Gravity in the Sun: keeping the heat on; 9. Reaching for the stars: the emptiness of outer space; 10. The colors of stars: why they are black (bodies); 11. Stars at work: factories for the Universe; 12. Birth to death: the life cycle of the stars; 13. Binary stars: tidal forces on a huge scale; 14. Galaxies: atoms in the Universe; 15. Physics near the speed of light: Einstein stands on Galileo's shoulders; 16. Relating to Einstein: logic and experiment in relativity; 17. Spacetime geometry: finding out what is not relative; 18. Einstein's gravity: the curvature of spacetime in the Solar System; 19. Einstein's recipe: fashioning the geometry of gravity; 20. Neutron stars: laboratories of strong gravity; 21. Black holes: gravity's one-way street; 22. Gravitational waves: gravity speaks; 23. Gravitational lenses: bringing the Universe into focus; 24. Cosmology: the study of everything; 25. Big Bang: the seed from which we grew; 26. Einstein's Universe: the geometry of cosmology; 27. Ask the Universe: cosmic questions at the frontiers of gravity; Appendix A. Useful constants: values used in this book; Appendix B. Background: what you need to know before you start.

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An accessible introduction to astronomy and general relativity, requiring only high-school level mathematics.

About the Author

Bernard Schutz has done research and teaching in general relativity and especially its applications in astronomy since 1970. He is an author of more than 170 publications, including three highly-regarded books published by Cambridge University Press: Geometrical Methods of Mathematical Physics, A First Course in General Relativity and Gravity From the Ground Up. Schutz currently specialises in gravitational wave research, studying the theory of potential sources and designing new methods for analysing the data from current and planned detectors. He is a member of most of the current large-scale gravitational wave projects: GEO600 (operated by the AEI), LIGO and LISA. Schutz is a Director of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, also known as the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), in Potsdam, Germany. He holds a part-time chair in Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University, Wales, as well as honorary professorships at Potsdam and Hanover universities in Germany. Born and educated in the USA, he taught physics and astronomy for twenty years at Cardiff before moving to Germany. In 1998 he founded the open-access online journal Living Reviews in Relativity. In 2006 he was awarded the Amaldi Gold Medal of the Italian Society for Gravitation (SIGRAV). He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Institute of Physics, and a member of the German Academy of Natural Sciences Leopoldina and of the Royal Society of Arts and Sciences Uppsala.


Advanced praise: '... A marvellous work! What strikes me is its immense range and its solid authority. For me this will be a great resource of encyclopedic knowledge, powerful models, and balanced judgement about our Universe.' Professor Edwin F. Taylor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology '... this splendid book ... is in fact a guide to everything that is needed to understand astronomy, astrophysics and cosmology ...' Physics World 'This beautifully produced book is evidently the result of a labour of love ... Schutz writes for people who not only want to be amazed but who also want to know how it is that scientists know all the amazing things they talk about on beautifully make documentaries.' CERN 'This book is difficult to put down ... The ratio of kg to GBP makes it a bargain in any company of books and its contents emphasise its value in no uncertain terms ... this presentation of its influence will even enlighten many who believe themselves to be already well versed in the subject ... As a whole it is the work of a master teacher, authoritative and encyclopaedic and likely to give the average enthusiast many years of real pleasure.' Astronomy Now '... the work of a master teacher, authoritative and encyclopaedic and likely to give the average enthusiast many years of real pleasure.' Astronomy Now 'Altogether, this is a very illuminating work ... The general reader will profit from the well thought-out representation, and the specialist will find many original new view-points for looking at well-known facts.' General Relativity and Gravitation

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