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Fundamental Planetary Science: Physics, Chemistry and Habitability


By: Jack J Lissauer(Author), Imke de Pater(Author)

450 pages, 32 colour & 300 b/w illustrations

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Oct 2013 | #201429 | ISBN-13: 9780521618557
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NHBS Price: £44.99 $59/€51 approx
Hardback | Oct 2013 | #201428 | ISBN-13: 9780521853309
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About this book

A quantitative introduction to the Solar System and planetary systems science for advanced undergraduate students, this engaging new textbook explains the wide variety of physical, chemical, and geological processes that govern the motions and properties of planets. The authors provide an overview of our current knowledge and discuss some of the unanswered questions at the forefront of research in planetary science and astrobiology today. They combine knowledge of the Solar System and the properties of extrasolar planets with astrophysical observations of ongoing star and planet formation, offering a comprehensive model for understanding the origin of planetary systems. Fundamental Planetary Science concludes with an introduction to the fundamental properties of living organisms and the relationship that life has to its host planet. With more than 200 exercises to help students learn how to apply the concepts covered, this textbook is ideal for a one-semester or two-quarter course for undergraduate students.

"Drawing most of its material from the authors' excellent graduate text, Lissauer and de Pater's Fundamental Planetary Science is smartly reorganized to focus on the essentials. The authors take great care to make the text both comprehensive and accessible to undergraduates with interesting new chapters on physics and life, more detailed derivations, additional figures, and a concluding list of key concepts for every chapter. Sure to be welcomed by the Solar System community and destined to become a classic, the book is my new top choice for serious students of planetary science."
- Douglas Hamilton, University of Maryland

"I recommend Lissauer and de Pater's latest book for advanced undergraduate classes in planetary sciences. This long-awaited textbook is clear and comprehensive. It covers the latest findings and issues in planetary science, with abundant figures and many useful exercises. The authors maintain high standards throughout. I plan to use this book as the main text for my 'Planets, Moons and Rings' course."
- Larry W. Esposito, University of Colorado

"Fundamental Planetary Science provides a comprehensive treatment of our Solar System plus a concise overview of the underlying physical basis. Lissauer and de Pater will be my textbook of choice for advanced undergraduate planetary science courses."
- Eric B. Ford, University of Florida


1. Introduction
2. Dynamics
3. Solar heating and energy transport
4. Planetary atmospheres
5. Planetary surfaces
6. Planetary interiors
7. Magnetic fields and plasmas
8. Meteorites
9. Minor planets
10. Comets
11. Planetary rings
12. Extrasolar planets
13. Planet formation
14. Planets and life


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Jack J. Lissauer is a Space Scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, and a consulting professor at Stanford University. His primary research interests are the formation of planetary systems, detection of extrasolar planets, planetary dynamics and chaos, planetary ring systems, and circumstellar/protoplanetary disks. He is lead discoverer of the six-planet Kepler-11 system, co-discoverer of the first four planets found to orbit about faint M dwarf stars, and co-discoverer of two broad tenuous dust rings and two small inner moons orbiting the planet Uranus.

Imke de Pater is a Professor in the Astronomy Department and the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at the University of California, Berkeley, and is affiliated with the Delft Institute of Earth Observation and Space Systems at the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. She began her career observing and modeling Jupiter's synchrotron radiation, followed by detailed investigations of the planet's thermal radio emission. In 1994 she led a worldwide campaign to observe the impact of comet D/Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter. Currently, she is exploiting adaptive optics techniques in the infrared range to obtain high angular resolution data of bodies in our Solar System.

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