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Unlocking the Secrets of White Dwarf Stars

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White dwarfs, each containing about as much mass as our Sun but packed into a volume about the size of Earth, are the endpoints of evolution for most stars. Thousands of these faint objects have now been discovered, though only a century ago only three were known. They are among the most common stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, and they have become important tools in understanding the universe. Yet a century ago only three white dwarfs were known.  The existence of these stars completely baffled the scientists of the day, and solving the mysteries of these strange objects required revolutionary advances in science and technology, including the development of quantum physics, the construction and utilization of large telescopes, the invention of the digital computer, and the ability to make astronomical observations from space.  This book tells the story of the growth in our understanding of white dwarf stars, set within the context of the relevant scientific and technological advances. Part popular science, part historical narrative, this book is authored by one of the astrophysicists who participated directly in uncovering some of the secrets of white dwarf stars.

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Titel: Unlocking the Secrets of White Dwarf Stars
Autoren/Herausgeber: Hugh Van Horn
Aus der Reihe: Astronomers' Universe
Ausgabe: 2015

ISBN/EAN: 9783319093697

Seitenzahl: 324
Produktform: E-Book
Sprache: Englisch

 Hugh Van Horn’s entire career since 1965 has been dedicated to conducting research into the properties of dense matter and applying that knowledge to objects such as white dwarfs and neutron stars. For almost 30 years, he led a research team investigating these topics at the University of Rochester, and a number of his former students have gone on to distinguished careers in astrophysics themselves. He is personally acquainted with many of the senior leaders in white dwarf research across the globe.His key contributions to our current understanding of the white dwarfs include (1) demonstrating that these cooling stars crystallize while still at temperatures where they are observable, (2) helping to develop detailed physical models for the properties of dense matter in their surface convection zones and deep interiors, and (3) helping to develop the theory of pulsating white dwarfs to the point where asteroseismological studies are now routinely being used to determine physical properties of these stars.Dr. Van Horn has co-edited or co-authored several books including: (1) White Dwarfs and Variable Degenerate Stars, ed. H. M. Van Horn and V. Weidemann (University of Rochester: Rochester, NY, 1979); (2) Strongly Coupled Plasma Physics, ed. H. M. Van Horn and S. Ichimaru (University of Rochester Press: Rochester, NY, 1993); and (3) 2020 Vision: An Overview of New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, H. M. Van Horn and M. Specian (booklet published by the National Academy of Sciences: Washington, DC, 2011).

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