Here, one of the world's leading astrophysicists provides the first comprehensive and logically structured overview of the many ideas and discoveries pertaining to the supermassive black hole at the galactic center known as Sagittarius A*. By far the closest galactic nucleus in the universe, Sagittarius A* alone can provide us with a realistic expectation of learning about the physics of strong gravitational fields, and the impact of such fields on the behavior of matter and radiation under severe physical conditions. Its proximity may even provide the opportunity to directly test one of general relativity's most enigmatic predictions--the existence of closed pockets of space-time hidden behind an event horizon.
The plethora of research on Sagittarius A* since its discovery in 1974 has long seemed an interwoven pattern of loose threads. No one has successfully synthesized this growing body of work into a manageable, coherent book both for professional researchers and for students taking courses focusing on black holes and galactic nuclei--until now. With Fulvio Melia's The Galactic Supermassive Black Hole, readers finally have at their disposal a one-volume crucible of essential ideas, logically streamlined but with thorough references for those wishing to explore the various topics in greater depth.
"Combining large scale astronomical observations with the careful reasoning of physics leads to the widely encompassing field of astrophysics. Apparently, the physical laws that rule interactions on Earth also rule the actions across our university. Fulvio Melia takes this consideration to task in his book The Galactic Supermassive Black Hole. Within the book, the equations bring reason to some very murky observations and sharpen our view of the heavens."--Universe Today
"Melia has prepared his book as a logically arranged and comprehensive compilation of our current knowledge...For those who wish to become familiar with the current thinking, this is the book to read; it is the only complete overview of the subject."--A. Spero, Choice
"A gripping high-level account of the best-studied supermassive black hole in the universe, truly a central object of modern astrophysics. Professionals, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates will all benefit from this physics-rich and authoritative tour through the heart of our galaxy. I can't wait to use it in my courses."--Niel Brandt, Pennsylvania State University
"This is a timely, comprehensive, and readable account of the current state of knowledge about the Milky Way's supermassive black hole and its stellar and gaseous environment. There is definitely a need for a book like this."--David Merritt, Rochester Institute of Technology
Table of Contents
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Fulvio Melia: