BLACK HOLES, WHITE DWARFS, AND SUPERSTARS by Franklyn Branley

BLACK HOLES, WHITE DWARFS, AND SUPERSTARS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Though the subject is mind-boggling and still vastly unsettled, Branley comes through once again and gives us a splendidly clear, totally non-mathematical presentation of what is currently known about the life cycles of stars. Beginning with our sun, an ordinary main-sequence star in equilibrium (the outward pressure of the hydrogen-to-helium reaction being balanced by gravitation), he goes back to young, still unstabilized T Tauri stars, then on to the red giants, where gravity takes over in a complicated sequence of stages, and to the tremendously dense white and yellow dwarfs (beyond atoms) that come next. Whether the question is how we know T Tauri are young; why stars move as they do and some of the older ones pulsate; what makes novas explode; or how, in ""neutron stars"" and then black holes, atoms themselves can collapse until volume becomes zero and density reaches infinity--Branley is always on hand to explain the process of discovery, review rival theories, or, in the end, admit that neither ""ordinary laws of science"" nor ""the special ones discovered by Einstein"" seem to apply. Fuel for cosmic thoughts.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1976
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell