At Play in the Cosmos
Paperback + Digital Product License Key Folder
with Ebook and Smartwork5 registration
A textbook that is not written like a textbook.
Astronomy: At Play in the Cosmos brings popular science writing to a textbook. In every chapter, author Adam Frank—a co-writer of the NPR blog “13.7 Cosmos and Culture”—integrates two interviews with leading scientists, a fascinating second voice that drives the narrative while making astronomy feel immediate, relevant, and real for students, and still capturing science’s human nature.
Endorsements & Reviews
“I like how he brings into the mix real people in Astronomy and how they work and think…I think that might help keep students reading the material.” — Michael Frey, Cypress College
“The writing style is one of the best I have read. I have done review of physics, astronomy, and earth sciences books, and by far this author has been one of the most pleasant I have encountered.” — Celso Batalha, Evergreen Valley College
“I enjoyed the writing style of basing it around interviews with current astronomers. It reads like an article of a pop-sci magazine, but much more in-depth.” — Andrew Fittingoff, Peralta Community College
“[…] with the incorporation of scientists’ voices, it was more like storytelling than what I am used to from other books. That kept it interesting. Hearing from scientists directly also humanizes the science, which I think is a good thing.” — Julia Kregenow, Pennsylvania State University
A textbook that is not written like a textbook
In every chapter, author Adam Frank interviews two scientists and infuses the prose with their quotations and anecdotes, a journalistic style that keeps students engaged and reading. Section Summaries review important concepts and serve as a study guide for each chapter, while a Running Glossary provides definitions to boldface terms in the margins for easy reference.
As he wrote the text, the author considered how to enhance reading by making the science interactive. Highlighted with icons in the book and ebook, 50 fun easy-to-use Interactive Simulations help students grasp physical and mathematical concepts by asking them to interact with the figures and bringing textbook art to life.
The best value in introductory astronomy
Astronomy: At Play in the Cosmos includes SmartWork5 and Norton ebook access. Learning Astronomy by Doing Astronomy, a workbook offering collaborative lecture activities, can be packaged with the text at no additional cost. For the instructor no longer interested in a print text, we offer a digital option which includes SmartWork5 and the ebook at a fraction of the cost.
Astrobiology introduced in Part II
Is there life beyond Earth? is a question commonly asked by those taking introductory astronomy. Rather than relegating astrobiology to the last chapter, Frank explores this topic in Chapter 9. This placement is ideal for instructors interested in teaching this material but who often run out of time at the end of the term.
SmartWork5: Dynamic online assessment with rich, answer-specific feedback
SmartWork5 coaches students with hints that help them understand key concepts while enabling instructors to assess student progress. Each question links to the appropriate section of the Astronomy: At Play in the Cosmos ebook and, for every chapter, SmartWork5 includes pre-made assignments written specifically for this textbook. Smartwork5 in phone and tablet compatible and integrates with the most popular campus learning management systems.
Part I: Bedrock
Chapter 1: Getting Started: Science, Astronomy, and Being Human
Chapter 2: A Universe Made, a Universe Discovered: The Night Sky and the Dawn of Astronomy
Chapter 3: A Universe of Universal Laws: From the Copernican Revolution to Newton’s Gravity
Chapter 4: A Universe of Universal Laws: How Light, Matter, and Heat Shape the Cosmos
Part II: Planets Near and Far
Chapter 5: The Architecture and Birth of Planetary Systems
Chapter 6: Home Base: Earth and the Moon
Chapter 7: Sibling Worlds: Mercury, Venus, and Mars
Chapter 8: Gas, Ice, and Stone: The Outer Planets
Chapter 9: Life and the Search for Habitable Worlds
Part III: A Galaxy of Stars
Chapter 10: The Sun as a Star
Chapter 11: Measuring the Stars: The Main Sequence and Its Meaning
Chapter 12: Nursery of the Stars: The Interstellar Medium and Star Formation
Chapter 13: To the Graveyard of Stars: The End Points of Stellar Evolution
Chapter 14: Down the Rabbit Hole: Relativity and Black Holes
Part IV: A Universe of Galaxies
Chapter 15: Our City of Stars: The Milky Way
Chapter 16: A Universe of Galaxies
Chapter 17: The Cosmic Web: The Large-Scale Structure of the Universe
Chapter 18: Endings and Beginnings: Cosmology