Neutron Stars: The Quest to Understand the Zombies of the Cosmos

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$29.95  $27.85
Harvard University Press
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.3 X 1.3 inches | 1.15 pounds

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About the Author

Katia Moskvitch has been an editor at WIRED UK and staff writer at Nature and BBC News. She is a contributor to the Economist, Science, and Quanta Magazine. In 2019 she was named the European Science Journalist of the Year by the World Conference of Science Journalists.


Katia Moskvitch takes the reader on a breakneck tour of the last century of thought and observation into neutron stars. Her research is impeccable, with complicated concepts presented in an easily understood manner. I highly recommend Neutron Stars to anyone who wants to learn not only about the history of neutron star research, but also the current race to understand fast radio bursts, magnetars, and colliding neutron stars.--Stephen R. Taylor, Vanderbilt University
A remarkable encounter with remote radio observatories, mind-boggling theories, and the most bizarre objects in the universe. Packed with information but accessible throughout, this fast-paced book is a wonderful introduction to the most exciting topics in current astronomy.--Govert Schilling, author of Ripples in Spacetime
Taking us behind the scenes of scientific exploration, Katia Moskvitch introduces the people responsible for advancing our understanding of neutron stars and communicates the feeling of amazement that accompanies unexpected discovery.--Jocelyn Bell Burnell, codiscoverer of pulsars
Neutron stars, super-dense balls of nuclear matter at the end-points of stellar evolution, are detectable from Earth through their emission of radio and gravitational waves. Katia Moskvitch provides a fascinating tour of the world's most sensitive detectors for such radiation, the prediction and discovery of neutron stars, their place in the grand cosmic scheme, and up-close views of many of the gifted astrophysicists behind these discoveries.--Joseph H. Taylor, Jr., winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics
If watching Tom Cruise in Top Gun made some want to be navy pilots, this book will make many young scientists want to become detectives of the universe. Katia Moskvitch takes us through the history of our understanding of the enigmatic neutron stars in a book that is punctuated with human stories, crazy ideas, novel instrumentation, and profound discoveries. This rich tale is an inspiring account of the process of science.--France A. Córdova, former Director of the National Science Foundation
An extraordinary blending of scales and disciplines, from astrophysics to particle physics, Neutron Stars faithfully describes one of the most active frontiers of science today, and introduces the exciting new field of multi-messenger astronomy.--Stavros Katsanevas, Director of the European Gravitational Observatory
For astronomers, neutron stars are the gift that keeps on giving. For more than fifty years, a crescendo of discoveries has amazed us and led us to probe the laws of physics to the breaking point. Katia Moskvitch recounts the key advances and clearly explains the underlying science. And she has the journalistic skills to offer readers a real feel for what it's like to be part of the international community of astronomers--experiencing triumphs and disappointments in the quest to discover exotic cosmic phenomena.--Martin Rees, author of On the Future
Enthralling...Moskvitch skillfully explicates these bizarre celestial objects, memorably dubbing them 'cosmic zombies' for the way they send radio waves, gamma rays, and x-rays after the 'death' of the stars from which they originate...Carl Sagan devotees will relish this portrayal of a new frontier in science.--Publishers Weekly (starred review) (06/11/2020)
Fantastic...Not only are there great insights into the physics that underpin these zombie stars, but they are often explained using anecdotes from scientists all over the globe...Moskvitch has written a beautiful book of personal stories, entwined with an exploration of these exotic stellar objects.--Amber Hornsby"BBC Sky at Night" (10/01/2020)