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Stellar Evolution Physics (2-Volume Set)

  • Provides the most in-depth treatment of microscopic input physics and the macroscopic responses, emphasizing the interplay between them
  • Instils an appreciation of how a star responds gravothermally to nuclear reaction-induced transformations and energy loss from the surface
  • Emphasizes methods for obtaining numerical solutions enabling the reader to construct sophisticated stellar evolutionary models for themselves
  • Over 600 illustrations describe in detail the structural characteristics and the physical processes occurring at all stages of stellar evolution

Series: Stellar Evolution Physics

By: Icko Iben, Jr.(Author)

1460 pages, 625 b/w illustrations, 85 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Dec 2012 | #201432 | ISBN-13: 9781107602533
Temporarily out of stock: order now to get this when available Details
NHBS Price: £115.00 $148/€126 approx

About this book

In Stellar Evolution Physics, Icko Iben describes the microscopic physics operating in stars and how stars respond macroscopically, showing the intricate interplay between these processes. Volume 1, intended for graduate students with a solid background in physics, covers the processes up to the onset of helium burning. Volume 2 builds on these principles, covering models of low and intermediate mass stars, the AGB phase, the final cooling white dwarf phase and a model for a massive star. Particular attention is given to the gravothermal responses to nuclear reaction-induced transformations in the interior and energy loss from the surface, responses at the heart of stellar evolution. Stellar Evolution Physics include over 600 illustrations and many numerical solutions in order to prepare the reader to program and calculate evolutionary models for themselves. Taken together, the two volumes will prepare a graduate student for professional-level research in this key area of astrophysics.


Volume 1

Part I. Introduction and Overview
1. Qualitative description of single and binary star evolution
2. Quantitative foundations of stellar evolution theory

Part II. Basic Physical Processes in Stellar Interiors
3. Properties of and physical processes in the interiors of main sequence stars - order of magnitude estimates
4. Statistical physics, thermodynamics, and equations of state
5. Polytropes and single zone models: elementary tools for understanding some aspects of stellar structure and evolution
6. Hydrogen-burning nuclear reactions and energy-generation rates
7. Photon-matter interactions and opacity
8. Equations of stellar evolution and methods of solution

Part III. Pre-Main Sequence, Main Sequence, and Shell Hydrogen Burning Evolution of Single Stars
9. Star formation and evolution to the main-sequence
10. Solar structure and neutrino physics
11. Evolution during core hydrogen-burning phases up to the onset of helium burning

Volume 2

Part IV. Transport Processes, Weak Interaction Processes and Helium-Burning Reactions
12. Diffusion and gravitational settling
13. Heat conduction by electrons
14. Beta decay and electron capture at high densities in stars
15. The current-current weak interaction and the production of neutrino-antineutrino pairs
16. Helium-burning nuclear reactions and energy-generation rates

Part V. Evolution during Helium-Burning Phases
17. Evolution of a low mass model burning helium and hydrogen
18. Evolution of an intermediate mass model burning helium and hydrogen
19. Neutron production and neutron capture in a thermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch star of intermediate mass
20. Evolution of a massive population I model during helium- and carbon-burning stages

Part VI. Terminal Evolution of Low and Intermediate Mass Stars
21. Wind mass loss on the AGB and formation of a circumstellar envelope, evolution of the remnant as the central star of a planetary nebula, and white dwarf evolution


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Icko Iben, Jr is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Astronomy and Physics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he also gained his MS and PhD degrees in Physics and where a Distinguished Lectureship in his name was established in 1998. He initiated his teaching career at Williams College (1958-1961), engaged in astrophysics research as a Senior Research Fellow at the California Institute of Technology (1961-1964), and continued his teaching career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1964-1972) and the University of Illinois (1972-1999). He has held visiting Professorships at over a dozen institutions, including Harvard University, the University of California, Santa Cruz, the University of Bologna, Italy and Niigata University, Japan. He was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 1985 and his awards include the Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical Society (1989), the George Darwin Lectureship (1984) and the Eddington Medal (1990) of the Royal Astronomical Society, and the Eminent Scientist Award of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2003-2004).

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