Measuring the Universe

Measuring the Universe : A Multiwavelength Perspective

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Astronomy is an observational science, renewed and even revolutionized by new developments in instrumentation. With the resulting growth of multiwavelength investigation as an engine of discovery, it is increasingly important for astronomers to understand the underlying physical principles and operational characteristics for a broad range of instruments. This comprehensive text is ideal for graduate students, active researchers and instrument developers. It is a thorough review of how astronomers obtain their data, covering current approaches to astronomical measurements from radio to gamma rays. The focus is on current technology rather than the history of the field, allowing each topic to be discussed in depth. Areas covered include telescopes, detectors, photometry, spectroscopy, adaptive optics and high-contrast imaging, millimeter-wave and radio receivers, radio and optical/infrared interferometry, and X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy, all at a level that bridges the gap between the basic principles of optics and the subject's abundant specialist literature. Color versions of figures and solutions to selected problems are available online at
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 175 b/w illus. 50 exercises
  • 1139533789
  • 9781139533782

About George H. Rieke

George H. Rieke is Regents Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona, Deputy Director of Steward Observatory, and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences. Professor Rieke is Science Lead for the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope and was Principal Investigator of the Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer (MIPS). He has also led construction of a broad range of groundbased instruments and has taught core graduate courses on instrumentation throughout his career.
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Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. Gathering light - the telescope; 3. Sensing the light: detectors for the optical and infrared; 4. Imaging and astrometry; 5. Photometry and polarimetry; 6. Spectroscopy; 7. Adaptive optics (AO) and high contrast imaging; 8. Submillimeter and radio astronomy; 9. Interferometry and aperture synthesis; 10. X-ray and gamma-ray; Index.
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Review quote

'This text fills a long-standing need for a broad treatment of modern observational astronomy techniques suitable for graduate and upper-division undergraduate students of astronomy, physics, and engineering. It provides useful descriptions of practical issues that are encountered when applying the techniques and technologies.' Jason Glenn, University of Colorado, Boulder 'Rieke is an ambassador of astronomical hardware, making the world of telescopes, instruments and detectors intelligible and palatable to observers, and those who analyze and model data. This textbook, written for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, provides an excellent starting point and overview for those who venture into building hardware. For those who just use astronomical facilities and data, the book provides precisely all they 'need to know'.' Hans-Walter Rix, Director, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg 'This textbook fills a real void. It is an excellent overview of the broad range of tools, technologies, and principles that modern observational astronomers use to address the major frontier areas of research. In our era of multi-waveband 'panchromatic' observations, this book will be a valuable resource for educating graduate students and an excellent reference for senior observational astronomers who are venturing into new territory.' Timothy Heckman, Dr A. Hermann Pfund Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University 'This excellent textbook has the range and depth to provide a great introduction to the techniques of modern astronomy for senior undergraduates or physics graduates starting an observational PhD with data from one of the major ground or space observatories. From traditional telescopes to gravitational wave detection it brings together in one reference the barrage of approaches we now use to unravel the secrets of the Universe.' Gillian Wright, STFC UK Astronomy Technology Centre '... this is a directory on extant technology and as such is a useful and comprehensive directory in itself. But it is much more than that alone, covering telescopes, detectors, photometry, spectroscopy, adaptive optics and high-contrast imaging, millimetre-wave and radio reviewers, radio and optical infrared interferometry, and X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy. ... Where this book derives its greatest value is in the focus on instruments and detectors ...' Spaceflight 'Measuring the Universe provides a backbone of understanding to build on. Among its major strengths are its spare and uncluttered style, its good use of equations and figures, and its problem sets.' Physics Today
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