Clocks in the Sky

The Story of Pulsars

Geoff McNamara

Clocks in the Sky Pulsars are the collapsed cores of once massive stars that ended their lives as supernova explosions. Now existing as neutron stars, their rotation rates can reach incredible speeds, up to hundreds of times per second.

Clocks in the Sky: The Story of Pulsars explores the events which led to their discovery, and describes contemporary research into pulsar astronomy. It gives a vivid picture of the combination of new technology, human doggedness and good fortune which eventually led to the original positive identification of pulsars. It describes the explosion of research into this area of astronomy and astrophysics, and discoveries such as millisecond pulsars, double pulsars and the first extrasolar planets. Finally, it looks at the possiblity that the real discoveries are yet to be made including, perhaps, the detection of the hypothetical pulsar black hole binary system by the proposed Square Kilometre Array, the largest single radio telescope in the world.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations

  1. Life and Death Among the Stars
  2. 1932
  3. A New Window
  4. Scruff
  5. What Makes Pulsars Tick?
  6. The Crab
  7. Optical Pulsars
  8. The Searchers
  9. Two by Two
  10. Faster and Stronger
  11. Globular Pulsars
  12. Pulsar Planets
  13. Magnetars
  14. Seeing Double
  15. Of Multibeams and RRATs
  16. The Future

Extent: 200 pages
Binding: Paperback
Publication Date: August 2008
ISBN: 978-0-387-76560-0

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