Books  Physical Sciences  Cosmology & Astronomy 

The Formation of Stars

By: Steven Stahler and Francesco Palla

John Wiley & Sons

Paperback | Dec 2004 | #162667 | ISBN: 3527405593
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NHBS Price: £75.00 $97/€86 approx

About this book

This book is a comprehensive treatment of star formation, one of the most active fields of modern astronomy. The reader is guided through the subject in a logically compelling manner. Starting from a general description of stars and interstellar clouds, the authors delineate the earliest phases of stellar evolution. They discuss formation activity not only in the Milky Way, but also in other galaxies, both now and in the remote past. Theory and observation are thoroughly integrated, with the aid of numerous figures and images. In summary, this volume is an invaluable resource, both as a text for physics and astronomy graduate students, and as a reference for professional scientists.

The first graduate-level textbook devoted to star formation, this work fills a glaring gap. It covers all relevant areas of current research in this vital area of astronomy. While the emphasis is on theory, observations are also treated in a thorough and lucid manner. Dr. Karl M. Menten Director, Max-Planck-Institute for Radioastronomy and Professor for Experimental Astrophysics, Bonn University


Preface.I Star Formation in Our Galaxy.1 Overview.1.1 Stellar Nurseries: Orion.1.2 Stellar Nurseries: Taurus-Auriga.1.3 Stars and Their Evolution.1.4 The Galactic Context.2 The Interstellar Medium.2.1 Galactic Gas and Its Detection.2.2 Phases of the Interstellar Medium.2.3 Interstellar Dust: Extinction and Thermal Emission.2.4 Interstellar Dust: Properties of the Grains.3 Molecular Clouds.3.1 Giant Molecular Clouds.3.2 Virial Theorem Analysis.3.3 Dense Cores and Bok Globules.4 Young Stellar Systems.4.1 Embedded Clusters.4.2 T and R Associations.4.3 OB Associations.4.4 Open Clusters.4.5 The Initial Mass Function.II Physical Processes in Molecular Clouds.5 Molecular Transitions: Basic Physics.5.1 Interstellar Molecules.5.2 Hydrogen (H2).5.3 Carbon Monoxide (CO).5.4 Ammonia (NH3).5.5 Water (H2O).5.6 Hydroxyl (OH).6 Molecular Transitions: Applications.6.1 Carbon Monoxide.6.2 Ammonia.6.3 Hydroxyl.7 Heating and Cooling.7.1 Cosmic Rays.7.2 Interstellar Radiation.7.3 Cooling by Atoms.7.4 Cooling by Molecules and Dust.8 Cloud Thermal Structure.8.1 The Buildup of Molecules.8.2 The Molecular Interior.8.3 Photodissociation Regions.8.4 J-Shocks.8.5 C-Shocks.III From Clouds to Stars.9 Cloud Equilibrium and Stability.9.1 Isothermal Spheres and the Jeans Mass.9.2 Rotating Configurations.9.3 Magnetic Flux Freezing.9.4 Magnetostatic Configurations.9.5 Support from MHD Waves.10 The Collapse of Dense Cores.10.1 Ambipolar Diffusion.10.2 Inside-Out Collapse.10.3 Magnetized Infall.10.4 Rotational Effects.11 Protostars.11.1 First Core and Main Accretion Phase.11.2 Interior Evolution: Deuterium Burning.11.3 Protostellar Disks.11.4 More Massive Protostars.11.5 The Observational Search.12 Multiple Star Formation.12.1 Dynamical Fragmentation of Massive Clouds.12.2 Young Binary Stars.12.3 The Origin of Binaries.12.4 Formation of Stellar Groups.12.5 Massive Stars and Their Associations.IV Environmental Impact of Young Stars.13 Jets and Molecular Outflows.13.1 Jets from Embedded Stars.13.2 Molecular Outflows.13.3 Wind Generation: Pressure Effects.13.4 Wind Generation: Rotation and Magnetic Fields.13.5 Jet Propagation and Entrainment.14 Interstellar Masers.14.1 Observed Characteristics.14.2 Maser Theory: Basic Principles.14.3 Maser Theory: Further Considerations.14.4 Tracing Jets and Outflows.15 Effects of Massive Stars.15.1 HII Regions.15.2 Ultracompact HII Regions and Hot Cores.15.3 Winds and Molecular Outflows.15.4 Photoevaporation of Gas.15.5 InducedStar Formation.V Pre-Main-Sequence Stars.16 Quasi-Static Contraction.16.1 The Stellar Birthline.16.2 The Contraction Process.16.3 Nuclear Reactions.16.4 Brown Dwarfs.16.5 Spinup and Spindown.17 T Tauri Stars.17.1 Line and Continuum Emission.17.2 Outflow and Infall.17.3 Circumstellar Disks.17.4 Temporal Variability.17.5 Post-T Tauri Stars and Beyond.18 Herbig Ae/Be Stars.18.1 Basic Properties.18.2 Nonhomologous Evolution.18.3 Thermal and Mechanical Effects.18.4 Gaseous and Debris Disks.VI A Universe of Stars.19 Star Formation on the Galactic Scale.19.1 The Milky Way Revisited.19.2 Other Galaxies.19.3 The Starburst Phenomenon.19.4 Galaxies in Their Youth.19.5 The First Stars.20 The Physical Problem: A Second Look.20.1 Clouds.20.2 Stars.20.3 Galaxies.Appendices.A Astronomical Conventions.A.1 Units and Constants.A.2 Photometric Systems.A.3 Equatorial and Galactic Coordinates.B The Two-Level System.C Transfer of Radiation in Spectral Lines.D Derivation of the Virial Theorem.E Spectral Line Broadening.E.1 Natural Width.E.2 Thermal, Turbulent, and Collisional Broadening.E.3 Rotational Broadening of Stellar Lines.E.4 Two Examples: H2 and CO in Clouds.F Shock Jump Conditions.G Radiative Diffusion and Stellar Opacity.H Derivation of Binary Star Relations.I Evaluation of a Polytropic Integral.Sources for Tables, Figures, and Plates.Index of Astronomical Objects.Subject Index.

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Steven Stahler is a research astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his doctorate in physics at Berkeley in 1980. Following postdoctoral studies at Cornell University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and a faculty position at MIT, he returned to the West Coast to pursue diverse aspects of star formation theory, from the structure of interstellar clouds to the evolution of young stars themselves. Francesco Palla is a senior astronomer at the INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, in Florence, Italy. His collaboration with Steven Stahler began at Cornell University, where he worked as an ESA fellow. His research interests include both observational and theoretical aspects of the interstellar medium and star formation.

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