Since their discovery was first announced in 1973, gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have been among the most fascination objects in the universe. While the initial mystery has gone, the fascination continues, sustained by the close connection linking GRBs with some of the most fundamental topics in modern astrophysics and cosmology. Both authors have been active in GRB observations for over two decades and have produced an outstanding account on both the history and the perspectives of GRB research.
This textbook is based on the one-semester course “Introduction to Astrophysics”,
taken by third-year Physics students at Tel-Aviv University, which I taught several
times in the years 2000-2005. My objective in writing this book is to provide an
introductory astronomy text that is suited for university students majoring in physical
science fields (physics, astronomy, chemistry, engineering, etc.), rather than for
a wider audience, for which many astronomy textbooks already exist.
The publication of the Hipparcos and Tycho Catalogues in 1997 transformed
astrometry, and as a consequence astronomers’ perception of astrometry. What
had before often been regarded as a somewhat quaint specialty of limited relevance
to modern astrophysics, was suddenly seen to produce a wealth of data
of immediate practical use. The ready availability of many thousand precise
trigonometric stellar distances and the access to an accurate and dense optical
reference frame have changed the way astronomers think about certain
problems and plan their experiments....
Because of their apparent “simplicity” simple atoms present a great challenge
and temptation to experts in various branches of physics from fundamental problems
of particle physics to astrophysics, applied physics and metrology. This
book is based on the presentations at the International Conference on Precision
Physics of Simple Atomic Systems (PSAS 2002) whose primary target was to
provide an effective exchange between physicists from different fields.
Dust is a ubiquitous feature of the cosmos, impinging directly or indirectly on
most fields of modern astronomy. Dust grains composed of small (submicronsized)
solid particles pervade interstellar space in the Milky Way and other
galaxies: they occur in a wide variety of astrophysical environments, ranging from
comets to giant molecular clouds, from circumstellar shells to galactic nuclei.
The study of this phenomenon is a highly active and topical area of current