The Biggest Bangs: The Mystery of Gamma-Ray Bursts, the Most Violent Explosions in the Universe

Hardcover | March 15, 2002

byJonathan I. KatzAs told byJonathan Katz

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For over a quarter of a century, gamma-ray bursts were the outstanding mystery in astronomy. No one knew where they were or how they worked. The Biggest Bangs tells how the mystery was unraveled, from the discovery of gamma-ray bursts by a Cold War satellite system monitoring the Nuclear TestBan Treaty to the localization of bursts in distant galaxies and the observation of surprisingly bright flashes of light from the bursts themselves. The Biggest Bangs is for laymen with an interest in science, physicists and astronomers interested in subjects in those fields not their specialty,students in non-technical astonomy courses, and as supplemental reading for courses in the history of science.

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For over a quarter of a century, gamma-ray bursts were the outstanding mystery in astronomy. No one knew where they were or how they worked. The Biggest Bangs tells how the mystery was unraveled, from the discovery of gamma-ray bursts by a Cold War satellite system monitoring the Nuclear TestBan Treaty to the localization of bursts in ...

Jonathan I. Katz received a PhD from Cornell University at the age of 22. He is an astrophysicist and applied physicist who has worked on problems as diverse as X ray stars, earthquakes, the fracture of glass, and gamma-ray bursts.

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Format:HardcoverPublished:March 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195145704

ISBN - 13:9780195145700

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionVelaDetectorsWhere are they?What are they?CompactnessThe Large Magellanic CloudFalse LightFalse LinesThe Copernican DilemmaSoft Gamma RepeatersBATSEThe Great DebateThe Theorists' TurnAfterglowsThe Supernova Connection?The Holy GrailThe End of the BeginningAfterwordAppendix: Did a Gamma-Ray Burst Kill the DinosaursGlossarySourcesIndex

Editorial Reviews

`The author gives a lively account of science in action...excellent supplementary reading material for a university student taking a course in physics or astronomy, or as background material for their lectureres who may not be familiar with this subject'Michael Dworetsky, THES