Topics include radiative processes across the electromagnetic spectrum; radiative transfer; ionization; heating and cooling; astrochemistry; interstellar dust; fluid dynamics, including ionization fronts and shock waves; cosmic rays; distribution and evolution of the interstellar medium; and star formation. While it is assumed that the reader has a background in undergraduate-level physics, including some prior exposure to atomic and molecular physics, statistical mechanics, and electromagnetism, the first six chapters of the book include a review of the basic physics that is used in later chapters. This graduate-level textbook includes references for further reading, and serves as an invaluable resource for working astrophysicists.
- Essential textbook on the physics of the interstellar and intergalactic medium
- Based on a course taught by the author for more than twenty years at Princeton University
- Covers radiative processes, fluid dynamics, cosmic rays, astrochemistry, interstellar dust, and more
- Discusses the physical state and distribution of the ionized, atomic, and molecular phases of the interstellar medium
- Reviews diagnostics using emission and absorption lines
- Features color illustrations and detailed reference materials in appendices
- Instructor's manual with problems and solutions (available only to teachers)