Physics & Astronomy

Physics of the Interstellar and Intergalactic Medium


Dec 20, 2010
23 color illus. 158 line illus.50 tables.
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This is a comprehensive and richly illustrated textbook on the astrophysics of the interstellar and intergalactic medium — the gas and dust, as well as the electromagnetic radiation, cosmic rays, and magnetic and gravitational fields, present between the stars in a galaxy and also between galaxies themselves.

Topics include radiative processes across the electromagnetic spectrum; radiative transfer; ionization; heating and cooling; astrochemistry; interstellar dust; fluid dynamics, including ionization fronts and shock waves; cosmic rays; distribution and evolution of the interstellar medium; and star formation. While it is assumed that the reader has a background in undergraduate-level physics, including some prior exposure to atomic and molecular physics, statistical mechanics, and electromagnetism, the first six chapters of the book include a review of the basic physics that is used in later chapters. This graduate-level textbook includes references for further reading, and serves as an invaluable resource for working astrophysicists.

  • Essential textbook on the physics of the interstellar and intergalactic medium

  • Based on a course taught by the author for more than twenty years at Princeton University

  • Covers radiative processes, fluid dynamics, cosmic rays, astrochemistry, interstellar dust, and more

  • Discusses the physical state and distribution of the ionized, atomic, and molecular phases of the interstellar medium

  • Reviews diagnostics using emission and absorption lines

  • Features color illustrations and detailed reference materials in appendices

  • Instructor’s manual with problems and solutions (available only to teachers)