Chapter

Relativistic astrophysics

James Binney

in Astrophysics

Published in print March 2016 | ISBN: 9780198752851
Published online March 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191814273 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780198752851.003.0006

Series: Very Short Introductions

Relativistic astrophysics

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‘Relativistic astrophysics’ outlines the relativity theory and lists some situations where this theory is needed: radio galaxies, micro-quasars, gamma rays, cosmic rays, neutron stars, x-ray sources, the solar system, and the universe. It goes on to explain muon lifetimes, rest-mass energy, plasma jets, shocks and particle acceleration, and synchrotron radiation. Einstein’s theory of general relativity is dependent on non-linear equations and the only exact solutions of Einstein’s equations that we have are ones with special symmetries. The phenomena of gravitational redshift, gravitational lensing, gravitational microlensing, deflection of light by the Sun, Shapiro delays, and pulsars and gravitational waves are then discussed.

Keywords: cosmic microwave background; Paul Dirac; Large Hadron Collider; Hendrik Antoon Lorentz; relativity; X-ray

Chapter.  8786 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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