Welcome to the Universe is a personal guided tour of the cosmos by three of today's leading astrophysicists. Inspired by the enormously popular introductory astronomy course that Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss, and J. Richard Gott taught together at Princeton, this book covers it all--from planets, stars, and galaxies to black holes, wormholes, and time travel. Describing the latest discoveries in astrophysics, the informative and entertaining narrative propels you from our home solar system to the outermost frontiers of space. How do stars live and die? Why did Pluto lose its planetary status? What are the prospects of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe? How did the universe begin? Why is it expanding and why is its expansion accelerating? Is our universe alone or part of an infinite multiverse? Answering these and many other questions, the authors open your eyes to the wonders of the cosmos, sharing their knowledge of how the universe works. Breathtaking in scope and stunningly illustrated throughout, Welcome to the Universe is for those who hunger for insights into our evolving universe that only world-class astrophysicists can provide.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the author of many books, including Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, and the host of the Emmy Award-winning documentary Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Michael A. Strauss is professor of astrophysics at Princeton University. J. Richard Gott is professor of astrophysics at Princeton University. His books include The Cosmic Web: Mysterious Architecture of the Universe (Princeton).
Preface 11 Part I Stars, Planets, and Life 15 1 The Size and Scale of the Universe 17 Neil deGrasse Tyson 2 From the Day and Night Sk y to Planetary Orbits 26 Neil deGrasse Tyson 3 Newton's Laws 42 Michael A. Strauss 4 How Stars Radiate Energy (I) 54 Neil deGrasse Tyson 5 How Stars Radiate Energy (II ) 71 Neil deGrasse Tyson 6 Stellar Spectra 81 Neil deGrasse Tyson 7 The Lives and Deaths of Stars (I) 93 Neil deGrasse Tyson 8 The Lives and Deaths of Stars (II ) 111 Michael A. Strauss 9 Why Pluto Is Not a Planet 126 Neil deGrasse Tyson 10 The Search for Life in the Galaxy 146 Neil deGrasse Tyson Part II Galaxies 171 11 The Interstellar Medium 173 Michael A. Strauss 12 Our Milk y Way 183 Michael A. Strauss 13 The Universe of Galaxies 197 Michael A. Strauss 14 The Expansion of the Universe 207 Michael A. Strauss 15 The Early Universe 222 Michael A. Strauss 16 Quasars and Supermassive Black Holes 241 Michael A. Strauss Part III Einstein and the Universe 255 17 Einstein's Road to Relativity 257 J. Richard Gott 18 Implications of Special Relativity 270 J. Richard Gott 19 Einstein's General Theory of Relativity 289 J. Richard Gott 20 Black Holes 300 J. Richard Gott 21 Cosmic Strings, Wormholes, and Time Travel 321 J. Richard Gott 22 The Shape of the Universe and the Big Bang 347 J. Richard Gott 23 Inflation and Recent Developments in Cosmology 374 J. Richard Gott 24 Our Future in the Universe 400 J. Richard Gott Acknowledgments 425 Appendix 1 Derivation of E = mc 2 427 Appendix 2 Bekenstein, Entropy of Black Holes, and Information 431 Notes 433 Suggested Reading 439 Index 441