Looking for Books on Astronomy and Astrophysics

  • #1
What are some good textbooks for astronomy and astrophysics? I know of fundamental astronomy and the principles of astrophysics. I would prefer it if it were good for self-study. Also, are there any books that are free?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
240
79
What is your level of mathematics and physics?
 
  • #4
What is your level of mathematics and physics?
My experience in mathematics is calculus and I am currently self-studying multivariable calculus. I also have some experience in differential equations.
 
  • #5
240
79
My experience in mathematics is calculus and I am currently self-studying multivariable calculus. I also have some experience in differential equations.

So the standard astrophysics textbook at the upper-undergraduate level is An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics by Carroll.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1108422160/?tag=pfamazon01-20

At a slightly lower level, I recommend Essential Astrophysics by Kenneth Lang. It still uses some calculus, but it's not quite as comprehensive as Carroll.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/3642359620/?tag=pfamazon01-20

Another textbook I've heard good things about is Astrophysics for Physicists by Choudhuri. From what I understand, however, is it requires a good understanding of undergraduate physics. Perhaps use this one as a follow up to Carroll.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0521815533/?tag=pfamazon01-20

Eventually, you will have to study some higher-level physics as well; astrophysics is, after all, a branch of physics. Classical mechanics, thermal/statistical physics, special relativity, electrodynamics, and quantum mechanics are all heavily used in astrophysics and astronomy. If you want to self-study the subject at the graduate level, then you're also going to have to learn general relativity and nuclear/particle physics.

Edit: While the book that vanhees71 linked is good, you might find it to be too easy, especially if you're already familiar with basic astronomy. It is aimed at students who don't have much of a background in physics or calculus.
 
Last edited:
  • #6
vanhees71
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
18,539
9,403
Yes, that book is something between a popular-science book and a undergrad introdutory textbook. If you want something for the advanced undergrad or even graduate level it's too simple.

In fact astrophysics nowadays spans indeed all of physics, including high-energy particle and nuclear physics (many-body quantum field theory) and general relativity.
 
  • #7
George Jones
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,474
1,185
Yes, that book is something between a popular-science book and a undergrad introdutory textbook. If you want something for the advanced undergrad or even graduate level it's too simple.

Most universities in North America offer astronomy courses for non-science majors. In fact, I have used this text when teaching just such a course.
 
  • #8
vanhees71
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
18,539
9,403
I love it. I have the German translation, and it's just nice to read it and the illustrations/pictures are also just lovely :-)).
 

Related Threads on Looking for Books on Astronomy and Astrophysics

  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
4K
Replies
4
Views
1K
Replies
5
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
873
Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
19
Views
2K
Replies
2
Views
3K
Replies
1
Views
843
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
3K
Top