Stars: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199602926

Andrew King
136 Pages
116 x 173 mm
Pub date
Jul 2012
Very Short Introductions


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  • An authoritative and accessible exploration of the science of stars
  • Examines the processes that allow stars to form, to shine, to maintain their size, and looks at their various forms of death
  • Looks at the impact of gravity, thermal pressure, magnetic fields, and radiation on stars
  • Considers our own star, the Sun, as well as neutron stars and black holes

Every atom of our bodies has been part of a star. Our very own star, the Sun, is crucial to the development and sustainability of life on Earth. This Very Short Introduction presents a modern, authoritative examination of how stars live, producing all the chemical elements beyond helium, and how they die, sometimes spectacularly, to end as remnants such as black holes.

Andrew King shows how understanding the stars is key to understanding the galaxies they inhabit, and thus the history of our entire Universe, as well as the existence of planets like our own. King presents a fascinating exploration of the science of stars, from the mechanisms that allow stars to form and the processes that allow them to shine, as well as the results of their inevitable death. 
"Part of the extensive Very Short Introduction series, this volume by Andrew King provides an engaging overview of the science of stars. This pocket-sized book is an enjoyable read." - Dawn E. Leslie, Contemporary Physics


1: Science and the stars
2: How the Sun survives
3: Life on main street
4: Cooking the elements
5: Stellar corpses
6: Finding the bodies
7: Measuring the universe
8: The beginning
Further reading

About the author: 

Andrew King, Head of Theoretical Astrophysics, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Leicester
Andrew King is Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Leicester, and heads the theoretical astrophysics research group there. His work has been recognised by a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, and a Senior Fellowship of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council. He has published more than 250 research papers and is a co-author of several books. He is also deputy editor-in-chief of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. In 2014 he was awarded the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society for investigations of outstanding merit in theoretical astrophysics.

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