Astrophysics in a Nutshell – Dan Maoz

This book is non-fiction and written by Tel Aviv University’s professor Dan Maoz, aimed to provide a guide for advanced science undergraduates.
I personally find it hard yet interesting to read. I could understand the information most of the time, though sometimes it’s about “log” or “sin”, and we haven’t learnt that in Mathematics yet.
I like the fact that the author covers the most important physics in a lot of detail but at the same time, capture our curiosity within the subject. It has quite a wide range covered, from cosmological physics to formulas calculating the total energy mass. My favourite part of the book was the questions at the end of each chapter. It not only lets one practice the fresh learnt knowledge, but also proves once again that astrophysics can be used in real life situations.
The book contains images and diagrams that help explain concepts. For example, there was a diagram of a human eye, with the light ray entering and leaving the eye, next to it was another diagram of a telescope and this also shows a light ray entering and leaving the telescope. It then explains, in words, their similarities and differences. From the diagram I could see that the telescope had more lenses and reflected the light ray back and forth.
I recommend this book to people who enjoy astrophysics and know a fair amount about simple optics, blackbody curves, a bit of quantum mechanics, and some more of classical orbital mechanics. Maybe the physics teacher?

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5 comments to Astrophysics in a Nutshell – Dan Maoz

  • (Jolly) Nga Wan

    Still not a single person commented??

  • Aaron

    Wow what a post!!! I do not really know what astrophysics is all about and I really don’t want to find out what they really are. Really no offense…but I don’t think I might read them till the next century!!! Seems to me that you are really interested in astrophysics! Looks like your science would become better than Einstein!!! All the way!!!

    • (Jolly) Nga Wan

      No way I would be better than Einstein!!
      You know how great Einstein is?
      Before him, NOONE knew the importance of “space time”, nor that time and space are intertwined! Space time is a substance, more like a web or net casted over the universe, and it bends and twists as time or space defies the laws of physics, so that in the end the law of physics are not broken.

  • Mr. MacKnight

    Jolly: “blackbody curves”??!

    • (Jolly) Nga Wan

      A black body is an ideal state of a physical body that absorbs any incident radiation, regardless of their frequency or angle of incidence. You may or may not remember that you have learnt the angle of incidence and the angle of reflection of a light ray into a mirror and that the angle of incidence = angle of reflection?

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