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Astrochemistry: From Astronomy to Astrobiology

By: Andrew Shaw

344 pages, no illustrations

John Wiley & Sons

Paperback | Jun 2006 | #158844 | ISBN: 0470091371
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £37.50 $49/€43 approx
Hardback | Jun 2006 | #158843 | ISBN: 0470091363
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £105.00 $139/€120 approx

About this book

Astrochemistry is a basic introduction to the chemistry and physics of atmospheres other than Earth's. It is based on a second year chemistry course and assumes some knowledge of physical and organic chemistry along with some basic physics. Little prior knowledge of biology or astrophysics is assumed. Starting with an introduction to the chemical universe, the text covers stellar, meteorite, comet and planetary chemistry, before covering prebiotic chemistry and life in the solar system. Results from the latest research have been included throughout.

written in a relaxed but enthusiastic style not aware of any recent comparable text. (Physical Sciences Educational Reviews, December 2006)


Preface. 1. The molecular universe. 1.1 The Standard Model Big Bang Theory. 1.2 Galaxies, stars and planets. 1.3 Origins of life. 1.4 Other intelligent life. 1.5 Theories of the origin of life. Concepts and calculations. 2. Starlight, galaxies and clusters. 2.1 Simple stellar models black body radiation. 2.2 2.726 K#8211;cosmic microwave background radiation. 2.3 Stellar classification. 2.4 Constellations. 2.5 Galaxies. 2.6 Cosmology. Concepts and calculations. Problems. 3. Atomic and molecular astronomy. 3.1 Spectroscopy and the structure of matter. 3.2 Line shape. 3.3 Telescopes. 3.4 Atomic spectroscopy. 3.5 Molecular astronomy. 3.6 Molecular masers. 3.7 Detection of hydrogen. 3.8 Diffuse interstellar bands. 3.9 Spectral mapping. Concepts and calculations. Problems. 4. Stellar chemistry. 4.1 Classes of stars. 4.2 Herzprung Russell diagram. 4.3 Stellar evolution. 4.4 Stellar spectra. 4.5 Exotic stars. 4.6 Cycle of star formation. Concepts and calculations Problems. 5. The interstellar medium. 5.1 Mapping clouds of molecules. 5.2 Molecules in the interstellar and circumstellar medium. 5.3 Physical conditions in the interstellar medium. 5.4 Rates of chemical reactions. 5.5 Chemical reactions in the interstellar medium. 5.6 Photochemistry. 5.7 Charged particle chemistry. 5.8 Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. 5.9 Dust grains. 5.10 Kinetic models of molecular clouds. 5.11 Prebiotic molecules in the interstellar medium. Concepts and calculations. Problems. 6. Meteorite and comet chemistry. 6.1 Formation of the solar system. 6.2 Classification of meteorites. 6.3 Meteorite mineralogy. 6.4 Geological time. 6.5 Chemical analysis of meteorites by L2MS. 6.6 The Murchison meteorite kerogen. 6.7 Meteorite ALH84001. 6.8 Comet chemistry. 6.9 Structure of a comet. 6.10 Physicochemical conditions in a cometary coma. 6.11 Chemical composition of comets. 6.12 Cometary collisions. 6.13 The Rosetta mission origin of the solar system. Concepts and calculations. Problems. 7. Planetary chemistry. 7.1 Structure of a star planet system. 7.2 Surface gravity. 7.3 Formation of the Earth. 7.4 Earth Moon system. 7.5 Geological time. 7.6 Radiative heating. 7.7 The habitable zone. 7.8 Extrasolar planets. 7.9 Planetary atmospheres. 7.10 Atmospheric photochemistry. 7.11 Biomarkers in the atmosphere. Concepts and calculations. Problems. 8. Prebiotic chemistry. 8.1 Carbon and water based life forms. 8.2 Spontaneous chemical reactions. 8.3 Rates of chemical reactions. 8.4 Endogenous production of organic molecules. 8.5 Exogenous delivery of organic molecules. 8.6 Homochirality. 8.7 Surface metabolism clay organisms . 8.8 Geothermal vents black smokers . 8.9 RNA World hypothesis. Concepts and calculations. Problems. 9. Primitive life forms. 9.1 Self assembly and encapsulation. 9.2 Protocells. 9.3 Universal tree of life. 9.4 Astrobiology. 9.5 Microbial Mars. Concepts and calculations. Problems. 10. Titan. 10.1 Physical properties. 10.2 The atmosphere. 10.3 Temperature dependent chemistry. 10.4 Energy balance and the greenhouse effect. 10.5 Atmospheric chemistry. 10.6 Astrobiology on Titan. Concepts and calculations. Problems. Glossary of terms and abbreviations. Appendix A: constants and units. Appendix B: astronomical data. Appendix C: thermodynamic properties of selected compounds. Answers to problems. Bibliography. Index.

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