Books That Inspire 2002


 
Red Giants and White Dwarfs
Robert Jastrow


I read Red Giants and White Dwarfs as I began my undergraduate studies in meteorology. Among its many fascinating topics was a lucid description of the creation of elements inside stars. After the well-known production of helium from hydrogen, the other elements are forged during a fiery cyclic inferno, culminating, if the star is large enough, in a cataclysmic supernova explosion. This discovery (a wonderful blend of theoretical prediction and pioneering obser-vations) that all the elements in my body were made inside ancient deceased stars was a cathartic experience. Not only did it validate my interest in science, but created for me a meaningful link between mankind and eons of astronomical history.
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Fred Carr
Professor/Director
School of Meteorology