Skip to main content

The Physical Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy

Frank H. Shu University of California, Berkeley

Print Book, ISBN 978-0-935702-05-7, US $124
eBook, eISBN 978-1-938787-423, US $90
Publish date: 1982
584 pages, hard cover


Translated into Greek and Chinese.


List of Adoptions

Table of Contents

Part 1: Basic Principles
1. The Birth of Science
2. Classical Mechanics, Light, and Astronomical Telescopes
3. The Great Laws of Microscopic Physics
4. The Great Laws of Macroscopic Physics
Part II: The Stars
5. The Sun as a Star
6. Nuclear Energy and Synthesis of the Elements
7. The End States of Stars
8. Evolution of the Stars
9. Star Clusters and the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram
10. Binary Stars
Part III: Galaxies and Cosmology
ll.The Material Between the Stars
12. Our Galaxy: The Milky Way System
13. Quiet and Active Galaxies
14. Clusters of Galaxies and the Expansion of the Universe
15. Gravitation and Cosmology
16. The Big Bang and the Creation of the Material World
Part IV: The Solar System and Life
17. The Solar System
18. Origin of the Solar System
19. The Nature of Life on Earth
20. Life and Intelligence in the Universe


“This is a truly astonishing book, invaluable for anyone with an interest in astronomy and surely the bargain of the year.”
-Physics Bulletin

“Just the thing for a first year university science course.”

“This is a beautiful book in both concept and execution.”
-Sky & Telescope

Frank H. Shu

Frank H. Shu University of California, Berkeley

Frank Shu is a Professor of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 1968. Shu has written a number of expository articles for the lay public, and is the author of The Physics of Astrophysics, Volumes I and II. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Academia Sinica.

View Profile