In the interstellar medium – the space between the stars in galaxies – new stars are born from material that is replenished by the debris ejected by stars when they die. Molecular Collisions in the Interstellar Medium is a comprehensive manual for studying the collisional and radiative processes observed in the interstellar medium. This second edition has been thoroughly updated and extended to cover related topics in radiation theory. It considers the chemistry of the interstellar medium both at the present epoch and in the early Universe, and discusses the physics and chemistry of shock waves. The methods of calculation of the rates of collisional excitation of interstellar molecules and atoms are explained, emphasising the quantum mechanical method. Molecular Collisions in the Interstellar Medium will be ideal for researchers involved in the interstellar medium and star formation, and physical chemists specialising in collision theory or in the measurement of the rates of collision processes.
1. Interstellar molecules
2. Interstellar shocks and chemistry
3. The primordial gas
4. The rotational excitation of molecules
5. The vibrational excitation of linear molecules
6. The excitation of fine structure transitions
7. Radiative transfer in molecular lines
8. Charge transfer processes
9. Electron collisions
10. Photon collisions
Appendix 1. The atomic system of units
Appendix 2. Reaction rate coefficients
David Flower is a Professor of Physics at the University of Durham, UK. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and an Editor of the Society's astronomy research journal, Monthly Notices. His research interests include atomic and molecular physics in astrophysical environments, and the physics of the interstellar medium.