Essential Astrophysics is a book to learn or teach from, as well as a fundamental reference volume for anyone interested in astronomy and astrophysics. It presents astrophysics from basic principles without requiring any previous study of astronomy or astrophysics. It serves as a comprehensive introductory text, which takes the student through the field of astrophysics in lecture-sized chapters of basic physical principles applied to the cosmos.
This one-semester overview will be enjoyed by undergraduate students with an interest in the physical sciences, such as astronomy, chemistry, engineering or physics, as well as by any curious student interested in learning about our celestial science. The mathematics required for understanding the text is on the level of simple algebra, for that is all that is needed to describe the fundamental principles.
The text is of sufficient breadth and depth to prepare the interested student for more advanced specialised courses in the future. Astronomical examples are provided throughout the text, to reinforce the basic concepts and physics, and to demonstrate the use of the relevant formulae. In this way, the student learns to apply the fundamental equations and principles to cosmic objects and situations. Astronomical and physical constants and units as well as the most fundamental equations can be found in the appendix. Essential Astrophysics goes beyond the typical textbook by including references to the seminal papers in the field, with further reference to recent applications, results, or specialised literature.
Presents astrophysics from basic principles without requiring any previous study of astronomy or astrophysics, or mathematical experience beyond basic algebra Provides 15 lecture-sized chapters and 50 set-aside focus elements with the intriguing historical development of particular themes which is missing in most astrophysics textbooks With problems and solutions Kenneth Lang is a world-renowned author on astrophysics, and his book “Astrophysical Formulae” is THE standard classic reference text, used in professional astronomy