I am indebted to many colleagues at MIT and elsewhere and to many students for their encouragement and assistance in hallway discussions, in class, and as readers of draft chapters, over the course of the two decades that this work has been evolving. It is impossible to fairly list all those who helped in these ways, but I will mention those who particularly come to mind. I apologize for omissions. I do not list those who helped specifically with chapters not included in this volume. Needless to say, those mentioned are not responsible for errors; I assume that role.

Colleagues: Marshall Bautz, Edward Bertschinger, Kenneth Brecher, Roberto Buonanno, Bernard Burke, Claude Canizares, Deepto Chakrabarty, George Clark, Charles Counselman, James Cronin, Alessandra Dicredico, Marco Feroci, Kathy Flanaghan, Peter Ford, Leon Golub, Mark Gorenstein, Marc Grisaru, Jackie Hewitt, Scott Hughes, Gianluca Israel, Garrett Jernigan, Erik Katsavounides, Alan Levine, Alan Lightman, Herman Marshall, Christopher Moore, James Moran, Edward Morgan, Philip Morrison, Stuart Mufson, Stan Olbert, Saul Rappaport, Ronald Remillard, Harvey Richer, Swapan Saha, Peter Saulson, Paul Schechter, Irwin Shapiro, David Shoemaker, Luigi Stella, Victor Teplitz, David Thompson, John Tonry, Jake Waddington, Joel Weisberg.

Graduate and undergraduate students (at the time): Stefan Ballmer, David Baran, James "Gerbs" Bauer, Eugene Chiang, Asantha Cooray, Yildiz Dalkir, Antonios Eleftheriou, James Gelb, Edgar Gonzalez, Karen Ho, Juliana Hsu, Rick Jenet, Jeffrey Jewell, Jasmine Jijina, Vishnja Katalinic, Edward Keyes, Janna Levin, Tito Pena, Jeremy Pitcock, Philipp Podsiadlowski, Antonia Savcheva, Robert Shirey, Donald A. Smith, Svetlin Tassev, Seth Trotz, Keith Vanderlinde, Emily Wang.

I am especially gratefull to colleagues Saul Rappaport and Stu Teplitz for their reading of the entire set of notes some years ago, and to graduate student Edward Keyes and undergraduate Keith Vanderlinde for their very recent reading of this volume in its current form. In the days before personal word precessors, secretaries

Trish Dobson, Ann Scales, Patricia Shultz, and Diana Valderrama did yeoman duty in typing revisions of the notes for my classes.

Much appreciated allowances have been made for my writing efforts by my family, by the Department of Physics at MIT, by my colleagues at the MIT Center for Space Research and by my associates in the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite program at MIT, the University of California at San Diego, and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The hospitality of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) in Japan and the Observatory of Rome (OAR) in Italy provided extended periods of quiet writing for which I am grateful. This volume began at ISAS and was completed at OAR.

Finally, it has been a pleasure to work with the staff and associates of Cambridge University Press, in particular, Miranda Fyfe, Jacqueline Garget, Carol Miller, Simon Mitton, Margaret Patterson and the folks at TechBooks in New Delhi. They have been encouraging, creative, patient and ever helpful.

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