By Jonathan I. Lunine

ISBN-10: 0521850010

ISBN-13: 9780521850018

Totally up-to-date all through, together with revised illustrations and new pictures from NASA missions, this re-creation presents an outline of Earth's heritage from a planetary technology standpoint for Earth technological know-how undergraduates. Earth's evolution is defined within the context of what we all know approximately different planets and the cosmos at huge, from the starting place of the cosmos to the techniques that form planetary environments and from the origins of lifestyles to the internal workings of cells. Astronomy, earth technological know-how, planetary technology and astrobiology are built-in to offer scholars the total photo of the way the Earth has come to its current nation and an realizing of the connection among key principles in several fields. The ebook offers recommendations in nontechnical language and mathematical remedies are shunned the place attainable. New end-of-chapter summaries and questions enable scholars to ascertain their knowing and important pondering is emphasised to inspire scholars to discover rules scientifically for themselves.

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Example text

Simply put, energy is neither created nor 29 destroyed, but only transferred from one form to another. Energy can be divided roughly into two forms: energy of motion, or kinetic energy, and energy stored in some fashion, called potential energy. Kinetic energy is straightforward to visualize; a moving car or falling stone both possess it. Kinetic energy is computed readily as half the mass of the object multiplied by the square of its velocity. Thus, when a car doubles its speed, it is quadrupling its kinetic energy; this is why the destructiveness of automobile accidents increases so dramatically with speed.

A weight variation in the nucleus of the atom causes a small perturbation in the electron shell energies, leading to a subtle effect on the chemical and physical properties. Also, in the presence of gravity, natural processes tend to separate out isotopes of various types, an important effect in understanding aspects of Earth’s history. Isotopes of a given element may be stable, meaning that they have no tendency to change over time, or they may be unstable. An unstable isotope loses a portion of its nucleus (radioactively decays) through emission of particles of various types; very unstable isotopes may split apart.

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Earth: Evolution of a Habitable World by Jonathan I. Lunine


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