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Astronomy | Astronomy at the Frontiers of Science

Astronomy at the Frontiers of Science

Lasota, Jean-Pierre (Ed.)

2011, XXII, 358 p.

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  • First book comprehensibly describing interdisciplinary aspects of contemporary astronomy
  • Unique description by top specialists of challenges facing 21st century astronomers
  • Provides historical perspective, including the struggle of astronomy against astrology

Astronomy is by nature an interdisciplinary activity: it involves mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. Astronomers use (and often develop) the latest technology, the fastest computers and the most refined software.  In this book twenty-two leading scientists from nine countries talk about how astronomy interacts with these other sciences. They describe modern instruments used in astronomy and the relations between astronomy and technology, industry, politics and philosophy. They also discuss what it means to be an astronomer, the history of astronomy, and the place of astronomy in society today.

 

The book contains twenty chapters grouped in four parts:

  • ASTRONOMY AND PHYSICS discusses the place of astronomy among various branches of (mostly high-energy) physics.
  • ASTRONOMY IN SOCIETY describes not only the historical context of astronomy, but issues facing astronomers today, including funding, planning, worldwide collaboration and links with industry.
  • THE TOOLS OF OBSERVATION AND THE PROFESSION OF ASTRONOMER discusses very small and very large telescopes, as well as mirror technology, the storage, organization and distribution of data, being an astronomer today, and the role played by planetaria in educating the general public.
  • ASTRONOMY AT THE FRONTIERS OF KNOWLEDGE highlights the struggle of astronomy versus astrology, and the sciences of cosmology, planetology and astrobiology.

This fascinating book will appeal to professionals in the fields of astronomy and physics, as well as space institutes, research agencies and the general public.

Content Level » Graduate

Keywords » Astrobiology - Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology - Astronomy, Observation and Techniques - Extraterrestrial Physics - Space Sciences

Related subjects » Astronomy - Astronomy, Observations and Techniques - Astrophysics and Astroparticles - Extraterrestrial Physics, Space Sciences - History of Science - Popular Astronomy

Table of contents 

Preface.-Part 1: ASTRONOMY AND PHYSICS.-The Universe as laboratory for high energy physics.-Standard candles in astronomy.-High energy cosmic ray & neutrino astronomy.-Interdisciplinary aspects of high energy  astrophysics.-Gravitational wave astronomy.-PART 2: ASTRONOMY IN SOCIETY.-A history of observatory sciences and techniques.-Astronomy and technical progress.-Up the decade! Predictions, prescriptions and international collaborations by the American astronomical (and other) communities.-Building a strong, unified European astronomy.-The future of space astronomy.-PART 3: THE TOOLS OF OBSERVATION AND THE PROFESSION OF ASTRONOMER.-Small telescopes and planets.-Large and very large telescopes.-The challenge of optics in future extremely large telescopes.-Virtual observations.-Doing astronomy at a museum.-Being an astronomer: a testimony.-PART 4: ASTRONOMY AT THE FRONTIERS OF KNOWLEDGE.-Astronomy versus astrology.-Fundamental issues and problems of cosmology.-The Earth and other Solar-system bodies.-Exobiology: an example of  interdisciplinarity at work.-Index.

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