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Manual The Physical Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy (Series of Books in Astronomy)

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About this Item: Please contact O'Connell's Bookshop Adelaide est. We have many thousands more books in our shop than appear on line. Size: A4. Seller Inventory MAY The text covers the most up-to-date information in astronomy. There are no updates on the blackhole but this will likely be included in the new edition. The chapters are organized in a logical format. The organization allows an instructor of a one-semester course to select relevant chapters for the course without compromising the heart of the course.

The authors of the text were very clear throughout the text by: 1 providing clear learning outcomes, 2 short but informative chapters on the topic 3 links to animations or images where appropriate. The text uses the same terminology throughout and is consistent. The learning outcomes at the beginning of the chapters establish the organization of the chapter and are followed. Short chapters and subchapters are well organized and easy to consume especially for a 5-week hybrid course.

The chapters are organized beginning with the definition of astronomy, contents of the universe, to life in the universe. Useful study tools and supplemental resources are located at the end of the text.

an introduction to astronomy

I did not experience any problems with the navigation of the links to chapters, illustrations or animations. I don't believe this review category is relevant for this text, however, I did not find any culturally irrelevant material. An exceptional book that I have decided to adopt and use immediately.

Comparable with any traditional Astronomy text for an introductory course. The book covers all the topics I would expect a two semester introductory astronomy course to cover.

In addition, someone could simply use The book has a detailed appendix, and at the end of every chapter is a list of definitions pertinent to the chapter. The book consistently links to other topics in the book, as a way to let the reader go back and forth between topics in order to understand new material by reviewing the old material.


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The table of contents is detailed, and the section title make is clear what is the focus of the section. Finally, each section has a list of learning objectives, so the student and the teacher know what should be gained as a result of reading over a given section. There are no biases that I can see. In general, I find astronomy to be based on facts, and therefore hard to inject bias.

As with any astronomy course, there will be those who read the book who might object to a particular topic on religious grounds, but that is impossible to avoid and should not be a consideration when writing a book. The authors do a good job of not pandering to this demographic. I do disagree with what the authors define as Newton's 2nd Law on page I think the authors should state that acceleration is directly proportional to force and inversely proportional to mass.


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However, the authors do describe the 2nd law in those terms later on, but I think they oversimplify the 2nd Law in the original definition. I also appreciate the strong way the authors speak of the greenhouse effect, global warming, and its root cause by humans. Certain sections of this book will need to be revised as new telescopic data is obtained and discoveries made.

The Physical Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy (Revised)

That being said, every book has this issue. There is a reference to an eclipse of August 21st, , that has already happened but is talked about in the future tense. I think the authors might consider changing the section to include images from this eclipse, and focus on the future U. However, most of the book's content describing gravity, light, and other fundamental topics will not require consistent maintenance and are outlined well.

The format of the book is to describe astronomy in largely conceptual terms, providing mathematical examples where prudent, but not emphasizing the math. If the reader decided to ignore the mathematical examples and focused on the descriptions of why the topics are important, the reader will still get a lot out of the book. The appendix gives a series of tutorials on important mathematical principles used in the text, and several links to outside sources are useful in understanding the math jargon used.

There is a section on gravity where the Moon's acceleration around the Earth is compared to the acceleration on the surface of the Earth, and a number for the acceleration of the Moon is stated as known, without context.

I would suggest stating a series of facts about the Moon that tell the reader how someone in the 17th century already knew the centripetal acceleration of the Moon due to the Earth parallax for Moon distance, velocity based on circumference and time to go through zodiac, etc. However, I would say that largely the book does an excellent job in presenting information in a clear way, with images, figures, tables, and written descriptions that make it easy to follow.

I would prefer to see the chapter on the Moon covered before gravity and the discussion on the phases of Venus. At the same time, the book is consistently linked to other topics in the book so the user can go back and forth between chapters and content with ease. In addition, an instructor can simply say "read chapter 4" and then the next week say "read chapter 3", so there is no need to follow exactly the order of topics followed by the book.

Overall, the book is consistent in nomenclature and laid out in the same style for every chapter. The book does an excellent job of breaking the material up into many sub-sections, and linking each subsection in the text to other subsections when necessary. To me, this is one of the primary strengths of the book and an e-book in general, and the authors use this tool very well.

It makes it easy to tell a student what to read, and to sculpt what I would want to cover as opposed to rigidly following the order of topics outlined in the book. Outside of the potential of moving the discussion of the Moon to an earlier point of the book, I think the book is clear and organized exceptionally well.

There is a table I would suggest modifying. Table 3. I would suggest two other columns. One for the square of the period, and one for the cube of the axis, so the reader can clearly see the relationship between the two as outlined in Kepler's 3rd Law. Images and figures were very well rendered and easy to read, along with being easy to zoom in and see through the computer.

The only item I would mention here as criticism is that when I tried to open some of the video or animation links, there were issues with trying to play a flash animation, but that may be unavoidable. Astronomy is a science that is largely based in Ancient Greek references, and has largely been dominated by caucasian men. There are places in the book where some of the modern debates that cause intense discussions can be triggered, such as global warming and the perceived conflict between religion and science.

However, I think the book does a good job of giving the scientific side of things, and a classroom instructor can use these topics to have a meaningful class discussion. The book discusses Anne Cannon and her trials as a result of her being a woman of science in the 19th and early 20th century. I think it would be good for the book to link to Dava Sobel's "The Glass Universe" for more content on the issues that faced many women during this time period.