Binary systems of stars are as common as single stars. Stars evolve primarily by nuclear reactions in their interiors, but a star with a binary companion can also have its evolution influenced by the companion. Multiple star systems can exist stably for millions of years, but can ultimately become unstable as one star grows in radius until it engulfs another. This volume discusses the statistics of binary stars; the evolution of single stars; and several of the most important kinds of interaction between two (and even three or more) stars. Some of the interactions discussed are Roche-lobe overflow, tidal friction, gravitational radiation, magnetic activity driven by rapid rotation, stellar winds, magnetic braking, and the influence of a distant third body on a close binary orbit. A series of mathematical appendices gives a concise but full account of the mathematics of these processes.
'! I know of no book quite like Peter Eggleton's monograph, which describes in great detail stellar evolution in the context of binary and to some extent multiple stars, but also gives a masterly and comprehensive one-chapter summary of single-star evolution, in a very concise style. Anyone who masters the contents will have a deep understanding of the processes involved and of the approximations that are necessary to make progress. ! the writing is clear and readable ! the text is full of nice phrases that are accessible to everyone ! A nice feature of the book, that will make it more accessible to non-experts, is that the detailed mathematical justifications have mostly been placed in the sex appendices that take up the last 50 pages of the book ! a remarkable book. ! it is authoritative and comprehensive and will be a fruitful source of ideas for those working in the field. It should also persuade our extragalactic colleagues that stellar evolution is still a topic with lots of interesting unsolved problems.' The Observatory
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