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Stellar Alchemy: The Celestial Origin of Atoms

By: Michel Casse and Stephen Lyle

256 pages, 31 line diagrams 13 half-tones 7 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Aug 2003 | #172594 | ISBN: 0521821827
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £45.99 $60/€52 approx

About this book

Why do the stars shine? What messages can we read in the light they send to us from the depths of the night? Nuclear astrophysics is a fascinating discipline, and enables connections to be made between atoms, stars, and human beings. Through modern astronomy, scientists have managed to unravel the full history of the chemical elements, and understand how they originated and evolved into all the elements that compose our surroundings today. The transformation of metals into gold, something once dreamed of by alchemists, is a process commonly occurring in the cores of massive stars. But the most exciting revelation is the intimate connection that humanity itself has with the debris of exploded stars. This engaging account of nucleosynthesis in stars, and the associated chemical evolution of the Universe, is suitable for the general reader.

'! very well suited for all amateurs of astronomy and the general reader !'. Orion '! Casse's interesting story about the relations between the stars and humans, and his joy in the subject, carry the reader along on a pleasant journey.' Nature 'This book is full of fascinating facts.' Astronomy & Space Magazine


Preface; 1. Nuclear astrophysics: defence and illustration; 2. Light from atoms, light from the sky; 3. Visions; 4. Contents of the sky: atomic sources and fountains; 5. Nuclear suns; 6. Sociology of stars and clouds; 7. Histories; 8. Ancient stars in the galactic halo; 9. Conclusion; Appendices.

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Michel Casse is an astrophysicist at the Service d'Astrophysique in Saclay, France, and an associate research scientist at the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris. He has published several other popular physics books in French.

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