Books  Physical Sciences  Cosmology & Astronomy 

Radiative Processes in Astrophysics

By: George B Rybicki and Alan P Lightman

400 pages, Illus

John Wiley & Sons

Paperback | May 1985 | Edition: 2 | #130003 | ISBN: 0471827592
Availability: Usually dispatched within 3 days Details
NHBS Price: £99.00 $124/€114 approx

About this book

Radiative Processes in Astrophysics This clear, straightforward, and fundamental introduction is designed to present-from a physicist's point of view-radiation processes and their applications to astrophysical phenomena and space science. It covers such topics as radiative transfer theory, relativistic covariance and kinematics, bremsstrahlung radiation, synchrotron radiation, Compton scattering, some plasma effects, and radiative transitions in atoms. Discussion begins with first principles, physically motivating and deriving all results rather than merely presenting finished formulae. However, a reasonably good physics background (introductory quantum mechanics, intermediate electromagnetic theory, special relativity, and some statistical mechanics) is required. Much of this prerequisite material is provided by brief reviews, making the book a self-contained reference for workers in the field as well as the ideal text for senior or first-year graduate students of astronomy, astrophysics, and related physics courses. Radiative Processes in Astrophysics also contains about 75 problems, with solutions, illustrating applications of the material and methods for calculating results. This important and integral section emphasizes physical intuition by presenting important results that are used throughout the main text; it is here that most of the practical astrophysical applications become apparent.


Chapter 1 Fundamentals of Radiative Transfer 1.1 The Electromagnetic Spectrum; Elementary Properties of Radiation 1.2 Radiative Flux Macroscopic Description of the Propagation of Radiation Flux from an Isotropic Source-The Inverse Square Law 1.3 The Specific Intensity and Its Moments Definition of Specific Intensity or Brightness Net Flux and Momentum Flux Radiative Energy Density Radiation Pressure in an Enclosure Containing an Isotropic Radiation Field Constancy of Specific Intensity Along Rays in Free Space Proof of the Inverse Square Law for a Uniformly Bright Sphere 1.4 Radiative Transfer Emission Absorption The Radiative Transfer Equation Optical Depth and Source Function Mean Free Path Radiation Force 1.5 Thermal Radiation Blackbody Radiation Kirchhoff's Law for Thermal Emission Thermodynamics of Blackbody Radiation The Planck Spectrum Properties of the Planck Law Characteristic Temperatures Related to Planck Spectrum 1.6 The Einstein Coefficients Definition of Coefficients Relations between Einstein Coefficients Absorption and Emission Coefficients in Terms of Einstein Coefficients 1.7 Scattering Effects; Random Walks Pure Scattering Combined Scattering and Absorption 1.8 Radiative Diffusion The Rosseland Approximation The Eddington Approximation; Two-Stream Approximation Problems References Chapter 2 Basic Theory of Radiation Fields 2.1 Review of Maxwell's Equations 2.2 Plane Electromagnetic Waves 2.3 The Radiation Spectrum 2.4 Polarization and Stokes Parameters 62 Monochromatic Waves Quasi-monochromatic Waves 2.5 Electromagnetic Potentials 2.6 Applicability of Transfer Theory and the Geometrical Optics Limit Problems References Chapter 3 Radiation from Moving Charges 3.1 Retarded Potentials of Single Moving Charges: The Lienard-Wiechart Potentials 3.2 The Velocity and Radiation Fields 3.3 Radiation from Nonrelativistic Systems of Particles Larmor's Formula The Dipole Approximation The General Multipole Expansion 3.4 Thomson Scattering (Electron Scattering) 3.5 Radiation Reaction 3.6 Radiation from Harmonically Bound Particles Undriven Harmonically Bound Particles Driven Harmonically Bound Particles Problems Reference Chapter 4 Relativistic Covariance and Kinematics 4.1 Review of Lorentz Transformations 4.2 Four-Vectors 4.3 Tensor Analysis 4.4 Covariance of Electromagnetic Phenomena 4.5 A Physical Understanding of Field Transformations 129 4.6 Fields of a Uniformly Moving Charge 4.7 Relativistic Mechanics and the Lorentz Four-Force 4.8 Emission from Relativistic Particles Total Emission Angular Distribution of Emitted and Received Power 4.9 Invariant Phase Volumes and Specific Intensity Problems References Chapter 5 Bremsstrahlung 5.1 Emission from Single-Speed Electrons 5.2 Thermal Bremsstrahlung Emission 5.3 Thermal Bremsstrahlung (Free-Free) Absorption 5.4 Relativistic Bremsstrahlung Problems References Chapter 6 Synchrotron Radiation 6.1 Total Emitted Power 6.2 Spectrum of Synchrotron Radiation: A Qualitative Discussion 6.3 Spectral Index for Power-Law Electron Distribution 6.4 Spectrum and Polarization of Synchrotron Radiation: A Detailed Discussion 6.5 Polarization of Synchrotron Radiation 6.6 Transition from Cyclotron to Synchrotron Emission 6.7 Distinction between Received and Emitted Power 6.8 Synchrotron Self-Absorption 6.9 The Impossibility of a Synchrotron Maser in Vacuum Problems References Chapter 7 Compton Scattering 7.1 Cross Section and Energy Transfer for the Fundamental Process Scattering from Electrons at Rest Scattering from Electrons in Motion: Energy Transfer 7.2 Inverse Compton Power for Single Scattering 7.3 Inverse Compton Spectra for Single Scattering 7.4 Energy Transfer for Repeated Scatterings in a Finite, Thermal Medium: The Compton Y Parameter 7.5 Inverse Compton Spectra and Power for Repeated Scatterings by Relativistic Electrons of Small Optical Depth 7.6 Repeated Scatterings by Nonrelativistic Electrons: The Kompaneets Equation 7.7 Spectral Regimes for Repeated Scattering by Nonrelativistic Electrons Modified Blackbody Spectra; y"1 Wien Spectra; y"1 Unsaturated Comptonization with Soft Photon Input Problems References Chapter 8 Plasma Effects 8.1 Dispersion in Cold, Isotropic Plasma The Plasma Frequency Group and Phase Velocity and the Index of Refraction 8.2 Propagation Along a Magnetic Field; Faraday Rotation 8.3 Plasma Effects in High-Energy Emission Processes Cherenkov Radiation Razin Effect Problems References Chapter 9 Atomic Structure 9.1 A Review of the Schrodinger Equation 9.2 One Electron in a Central Field Wave Functions Spin 9.3 Many-Electron Systems Statistics: The Pauli Principle Hartree-Fock Approximation: Configurations The Electrostatic Interaction; LS Coupling and Terms 9.4 Perturbations, Level Splittings, and Term Diagrams Equivalent and Nonequivalent Electrons and Their Spectroscopic Terms Parity Spin-Orbit Coupling Zeeman Effect Role of the Nucleus; Hyperfine Structure 9.5 Thermal Distribution of Energy Levels and Ionization Thermal Equilibrium: Boltzmann Population of Levels The Saha Equation Problems References Chapter 10 Radiative Transitions 10.1 Semi-Classical Theory of Radiative Transitions The Electromagnetic Hamiltonian The Transition Probability 10.2 The Dipole Approximation 10.3 Einstein Coefficients and Oscillator Strengths 10.4 Selection Rules 10.5 Transition Rates Bound-Bound Transitions for Hydrogen Bound-Free Transitions (Continuous Absorption) for Hydrogen Radiative Recombination - Milne Relations The Role of Coupling Schemes in the Determination of f Values 10.6 Line Broadening Mechanisms Doppler Broadening Natural Broadening Collisional Broadening Combined Doppler and Lorentz Profiles Problems References Chapter 11 Molecular Structure 11.1 The Born-Oppenheimer Approximation: An Order of Magnitude Estimate of Energy Levels 11.2 Electronic Binding of Nuclei The H2+ Ion The H2 Molecule 11.3 Pure Rotation Spectra Energy Levels Selection Rules and Emission Frequencies 11.4 Rotation-Vibration Spectra Energy Levels and the Morse Potential Selection Rules and Emission Frequencies 11.5 Electronic-Rotational-Vibrational Spectra Energy Levels Selection Rules and Emission Frequencies Problems References Solutions Index

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!


George B. Rybicki received his B.S. degree in physics from Carnegie-Mellon University and his Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University. He is a physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and lecturer in the Astronomy Department at Harvard. His research interests include stellar atmospheres, stellar dynamics and radiative transfer. Alan P. Lightman received his A.B. degree in physics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology. He was a research fellow at Cornell and then an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University from 1976 1979. He is presently at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. His research includes work in general relativity, the astrophysics of black holes, radiation mechanisms, and stellar dynamics. He is also a coauthor of Problem Book in Relativity and Gravitation (1975).

Bestsellers in this subject

Observing the Night Sky with Binoculars

NHBS Price: £24.99 $31/€29 approx

Guide to the Night Sky

NHBS Price: £3.50 $4/€4 approx

Space: A History of Space Exploration in Photographs

NHBS Price: £24.99 $31/€29 approx

Discovering the Universe

Clearance price: £12.75 £50.99 (Save £38.24) $16/€15 approx

The Impact of Discovering Life Beyond Earth

NHBS Price: £19.99 $25/€23 approx

VAT: GB 407 4846 44
NHBS Ltd is registered in England and Wales: 1875194