Based on graduate school lectures in contemporary relativity and gravitational physics, this book gives a complete and unified picture of the present status of theoretical and observational properties of astrophysical black holes. The chapters are written by internationally recognized specialists. They cover general theoretical aspects of black hole astrophysics, the theory of accretion and ejection of gas and jets, stellar-sized black holes observed in the Milky Way, the formation and evolution of supermassive black holes in galactic centers and quasars as well as their influence on the dynamics in galactic nuclei. The final chapter addresses analytical relativity of black holes supporting theoretical understanding of the coalescence of black holes as well as being of great relevance in identifying gravitational wave signals. With its introductory chapters the book is aimed at advanced graduate and post-graduate students, but it will also be useful for specialists.
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