Astrophysics: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780198752851

James Binney
176 Pages
114 x 173 mm
Pub date
Mar 2016
Very Short Introductions


To purchase this item, please add the product to your basket and click the Shopping basket link above to view your basket and continue.

Send mail
  • Provides an authoritative introduction to astrophysics, demonstrating how the laws of physics we can observe here on Earth apply to our entire universe
  • Introduces the physics of phenomena such as supernovae, accretion discs and jets, and planetary systems
  • Provides a succinct account of the application of special and general relativity to astrophysics

Astrophysics is the physics of the stars, and more widely the physics of the Universe. It enables us to understand the structure and evolution of planetary systems, stars, galaxies, interstellar gas, and the cosmos as a whole. 

In this Very Short Introduction, the leading astrophysicist James Binney shows how the field of astrophysics has expanded rapidly in the past century, with vast quantities of data gathered by telescopes exploiting all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, combined with the rapid advance of computing power, which has allowed increasingly effective mathematical modelling. He illustrates how the application of fundamental principles of physics - the consideration of energy and mass, and momentum - and the two pillars of relativity and quantum mechanics, has provided insights into phenomena ranging from rapidly spinning millisecond pulsars to the collision of giant spiral galaxies. This is a clear, rigorous introduction to astrophysics for those keen to cut their teeth on a conceptual treatment involving some mathematics.


Big ideas
Gas between the stars
Planetary Systems
Relativistic astrophysics
The big picture
Further reading

About the author: 

James Binney, FRS, is a highly distinguished astrophysicist at Oxford University. He is head of the Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics, and has been awarded the Maxwell Medal and the Dirac Medal of the Institute of Physics. A specialist in galactic dynamics, he is the author of three widely used graduate textbooks, including The Physics of Quantum Mechanics (OUP, 2013), co-authored with David Skinner.

"an enjoyably easy read, and a long way from being a stodgy textbook - I mean, what textbook would tell you the Galaxy contains 'zillions of dark-matter particles'?" - Andrew May, Popular Science

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.