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Astronomy - Astrophysics and Astroparticles | Black Hole Astrophysics - The Engine Paradigm

Black Hole Astrophysics

The Engine Paradigm

Meier, David L.

Jointly published with Praxis Publishing, UK

2012, XXXI, 927 p. 204 illus., 75 illus. in color.

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  • Reviews our current knowledge of cosmic black holes and how they generate the most powerful observed pheonomena in the Universe
  • Highlights the latest, most up-to-date theories and discoveries in this very active area of astrophysical research
  • Demonstrates why we believe that black holes are responsible for important phenomena such as quasars, microquasars and gamma-ray bursts
  • Explains to the reader the nature of the violent and spectacular outflows (winds and jets) generated by black hole accretion
  • The book is written in a relaxed style, with the level of mathematics used within the text appropriate for final year university students in the USA

As a result of significant research over the past 20 years, black holes are now linked to some of the most spectacular and exciting phenomena in the Universe, ranging in size from those that have the same mass as stars to the super-massive objects that lie at the heart of most galaxies, including our own Milky Way. This book first introduces the properties of simple isolated holes, then adds in complications like rotation, accretion, radiation, and magnetic fields, finally arriving at a basic understanding of how these immense engines work.

Black Hole Astrophysics

• reviews our current knowledge of cosmic black holes and how they generate the most powerful observed pheonomena in the Universe;

• highlights the latest, most up-to-date theories and discoveries in this very active area of astrophysical research;

• demonstrates why we believe that black holes are responsible for important phenomena such as quasars, microquasars and gammaray bursts;

• explains to the reader the nature of the violent and spectacular outfl ows (winds and jets) generated by black hole accretion.

Content Level » Graduate

Keywords » Accretion Disks - Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) - Astrophysical Black Holes - Astrophysical Jets - Blandford-Znajek process - Physics of Microquasars - Physics of gamma-ray burts

Related subjects » Astrophysics and Astroparticles - Theoretical, Mathematical & Computational Physics

Table of contents 

Part I Observations of Black Hole Engines.- 1 Recognizing Black Holes.- 2 Macroquasars: Supermassive Black Holes in the Centers of Galaxies.- 3 Microquasars: Black holes (and Neutron Stars) of Stellar Mass in Our Galaxy.- 4 Miniquasars: Elusive Black Holes of Intermediate Mass.- Part II Physics of Black Hole Engines.- 5 Physics in Everyday Life: A Review of Newtonian Mechanics.- 6 Geometry and Physics Without Gravity: Special Relativity.- 7 Physics in Curved Spacetime: General Relativity and Black Holes.- 8 Four-Dimensional Evolving Geometry: Gravitational Waves and Gravitational Collapse.- 9 Nuts and Bolts of the Black Hole Engine: General Relativistic Mechanics.- Part III Astrophysics of Black Hole Engines.- 10 Assembling the Engine Block: Formation of Black Holes in the Universe.- 11 Fueling and Carburetion: Breakup and Accretion of Stars and Gas Clouds.- 12 The Combustion Chamber: Energy Generation by Gravitational Accretion.- 13 The Thermal Exhaust System: Radiation and Thermally-Driven Winds.- 14 The Non-Thermal Exhaust System I. Rotating Magnetospheres: The Fan that Drives the Turbo-Exhaust System.- 15 The Non-Thermal Exhaust System II. Magnetic Winds and Jets.- 16 Putting it All Together: Black Hole Engines of All Sizes.- Part IV Appendices.- A Mathematical Notation Used in this Book.- B Derivatives of Vectors and Tensors: Differential Geometry.- C Derivation of the Adiabatic Relativistic Stellar Structure Equations.- D Derivation of the General Relativistic MHD Equations from Kinetic Theory.- E Derivation of the General Relativistic Grad-Schlüter-Shafranov Equation.- F Derivation of the Equations for Stationary, Axisymmetric Ideal MHD.- References.

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