Selected Papers: v. 5: Relativistic Astrophysics

This is the fifth of six volumes collecting significant papers of the distinguished astrophysicist and Nobel laureate S. Chandrasekhar. His work is notable for its breadth as well as for its brilliance; his practice has been to change his focus from time to time to pursue new areas of research. The result has been a prolific career full of discoveries and insights, some of which are only now being fully appreciated. Chandrasekhar has selected papers that trace the development of his ideas and that present aspects of his work not fully covered in the books he has periodically published to summarize his research in each area. Volume 5 covers all of Chandrasekhar's contributions to the general theory of relativity and relativity's astrophysical applications (except his research on black holes and colliding gravitational waves, which is covered in Volume 6). The major topics include the influence of general relativity on the pulsations and stability of stars; the back reaction of gravitational waves on their sources; and post-Newtonian approximations to general relativity and their astrophysical applications. In addition to research papers, the volume includes two 1972 lectures in which Chandrasekhar assessed the past, present, and future of relativistic astrophysics. The foreword by astrophysicist Kip S. Thorne is an absorbing, brief history of the field since 1961, capturing the atmosphere of the early research and clarifying Chandrasekhar's dominant role in it. Chandrasekhar has never written a monograph synthesizing his research in relativistic astrophysics, and therefore this volume of his papers serves as a summary of that work for students and more senior researchers.