The astrophysics is the science that applying physics to astronomical phenomena ranging from our own solar system to the nature and origin of the universe , with stars, galaxies and kinds of exotic objects found in space and the universe. Astrophysics assesses physics under extreme circumstances and often provides the starting point for the development of new ideas that have a broader impact.
What is astrophysics?
Astrophysics is a branch of space science that applies the laws of physics and chemistry in order to explain the birth, life, and death of stars , planets , galaxies , nebulae, and other objects in the universe.
What astrophysics studies?
Astrophysics studies the use of the laws of chemistry and physics to learn about the birth, life, and death of stars , planets, and galaxies.
This science is also in charge, together with astronomy, of measuring the positions , luminosities , movements and other characteristics of objects found in space. Creates and formulates physical theories of small to medium structures in the universe and seeks to study the largest structures and the universe as a whole.
Astrophysicists are looking for the correct and logical way to understand how the universe works and our place and our role in it. The goals of astrophysics are to discover how the universe works , to explore how it began and how it evolved, and to search for life on other planets around other stars. The NASA says that these objectives produce three broad questions: How does the universe work? How do we get here? and Are we alone?
Aristarchus of Samos first put forward the idea that the motions of celestial bodies could be explained by assuming that the Earth and all the other planets in the Solar System orbited the Sun. Unfortunately, due to geocentric thinking at the time, his heliocentric theory was considered outlandish and heretical , and for centuries the seemingly common sense view that the Sun and other planets revolved around the Earth was basically not questioned.
In the 16th century, the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus revived the heliocentric model, giving it a mathematical basis. In 1609, Galileo Galilei discovered the four brightest moons of Jupiter and documented their orbits on that planet. However, he was forced to retract his heliocentric ideas to escape the severe punishment of the Catholic Church , which had the geocentric dogma prevailing at the time.
At first, only rules of thumb were discovered , such as Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, and in the latter part of that century, Isaac Newton bridged the gap between Kepler’s laws and Galileo’s dynamics , discovering that the same laws that govern the Dynamics of objects on Earth govern the movement of the planets and the Moon.
After Isaac Newton published his book, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica , the needs of navigation provided an impetus for progressively more precise astronomical observations and instruments , making data increasingly available to scientists.
Nuclear Astrophysics is a field at the intersection of nuclear physics and astrophysics that seeks to understand how nuclear processes shape the cosmos . In essence, the connection between the properties of atomic nuclei and the properties of planets , stars and galaxies is sought . Work in nuclear astrophysics includes astronomical observations using telescopes, gravitational wave detectors, and neutrino detectors; accelerator laboratory experiments using beams of stable nuclei, radioactive nuclei, neutronsand gamma rays; laboratory analysis of interstellar grains; large-scale computer simulations of explosions and stellar cores; and theoretical work in nuclear physics and astrophysics.
The main concepts that govern astrophysics are:
- Knowledge of the Solar System that seeks to understand everything related to the Sun and its magnetic systems.
- The knowledge in the stars to determine their interior and the phenomena of gamma ray bursts.
- Knowledge of the structure and evolution of our galaxy and the central hole in it.
- The knowledge of extragalactic physics and the analysis of the universe as a whole.
Some examples of astrophysics are studies in the following areas:
- Compact stars
- Black holes
- Active nuclei of galaxies
- Interstellar medium
- Chemical evolution of the universe
- Evolution of the stars
- Dynamics of galaxies
Some of the main astrophysics books that can be purchased are:
- History of time , by Stephen W. Hawking.
- The fabric of the cosmos . Space, time and the texture of reality, by Brian Greene.
- The cosmic landscape . String Theory and the Myth of Intelligent Design, by Leonard Susskind.
- The dream of a final theory . The search for the fundamental laws of nature, by Steven Weinberg.
- History of an atom , by Lawrence M. Krauss.