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UT Arlington physicists publish textbook

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

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Media Contact: Sue Stevens

Drs. Manfred Cuntz, associate professor of physics, Nilakshi Veerabathina, astronomy lecturer, and Levent Gurdemir, astronomy laboratory supervisor, all affiliated with the Department of Physics at The University of Texas at Arlington, have published a new book titled “Practical Universe: Observations, Experiments, Exercises” with Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

The book features state-of-the-art material to be used in the “Astronomy Laboratory for Introductory Astronomy” courses offered to students with non-science majors. It replaces a text written by U. O. Herrmann & B. C. Thompson more than 25 years ago.

“Significant progress in astronomy has been made in the meantime; progress that is almost beyond anybody’s comprehension,” Cuntz said.

The new developments, both in regard to observations and theory, prompted the incorporation of new methods and material into the new book. Besides traditional exercises such as the study of terrestrial coordinate systems, planetary motions and scale models for our solar system and the Milky Way, the new book also offers chapters on extra solar planets and black holes, which will give students insight into modern day astronomy. Other exercises utilize new Internet-based material, as well as computer programs such as “Starry Night” and “Stellarium,”allowing computer-based, hands-on demonstrations of stars and planets in the night sky. “Practical Universe” is available through the UT Arlington bookstore or the Kendall/Hunt Website, www.kendallhunt.com/.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.