Interpreting Astronomical Spectra describes how physical conditions such as temperature, density and composition can be obtained from the spectra of a broad range of astronomical environments ranging from the cold interstellar medium to very hot coronal gas and from stellar atmospheres to quasars. In this book the author has succeeded in providing a coherent and integrated approach to the interpretation of astronomical spectroscopy, placing the emphasis on the physical understanding of spectrum formation rather than on instrumental considerations. MKS units and consistent symbols are employed throughout so that the fundamental ideas common to diverse environments are made clear and the importance of different temperature ranges and densities can be seen. Aimed at senior undergraduates and graduates studying physics, astronomy and astrophysics, this book will also appeal to the professional astronomer.
Radiative Transfer and Model Atmospheres; Microscopic Processes and Statistical Equilibrium; Line Profiles; Line Formation; Stellar Spectra; Photoionized Clouds - Gaseous Nebulae; Photoionized Clouds - AGN; The Spectrum of the Cold Interstellar Medium; Masers; Winds and Circumstellar Shells; Very Hot Gases and Coronae.
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