Radiative Processes in AstrophysicsISBN: 9780471827597
400 pages
January 1991

Radiative Processes in Astrophysics: This clear, straightforward, and fundamental introduction is designed to presentfrom a physicist's point of viewradiation processes and their applications to astrophysical phenomena and space science. It covers such topics as radiative transfer theory, relativistic covariance and kinematics, bremsstrahlung radiation, synchrotron radiation, Compton scattering, some plasma effects, and radiative transitions in atoms. Discussion begins with first principles, physically motivating and deriving all results rather than merely presenting finished formulae. However, a reasonably good physics background (introductory quantum mechanics, intermediate electromagnetic theory, special relativity, and some statistical mechanics) is required. Much of this prerequisite material is provided by brief reviews, making the book a selfcontained reference for workers in the field as well as the ideal text for senior or firstyear graduate students of astronomy, astrophysics, and related physics courses. Radiative Processes in Astrophysics also contains about 75 problems, with solutions, illustrating applications of the material and methods for calculating results. This important and integral section emphasizes physical intuition by presenting important results that are used throughout the main text; it is here that most of the practical astrophysical applications become apparent.
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Chapter 1
Fundamentals of Radiative Transfer
1.1 The Electromagnetic Spectrum;
Elementary Properties of Radiation
1.2 Radiative Flux
1.3 The Specific Intensity and Its Moments
1.4 Radiative Transfer
1.5 Thermal Radiation
1.6 The Einstein Coefficients
1.7 Scattering Effects;
Random Walks
1.8 Radiative Diffusion
Chapter 2
Basic Theory of Radiation Fields
2.1 Review of Maxwell's Equations
2.2 Plane Electromagnetic Waves
2.3 The Radiation Spectrum
2.4 Polarization and Stokes Parameters 62
2.5 Electromagnetic Potentials
2.6 Applicability of Transfer Theory and the Geometrical Optics Limit
Chapter 3
Radiation from Moving Charges
3.1 Retarded Potentials of Single Moving Charges: The LiénardWiechart Potentials
3.2 The Velocity and Radiation Fields
3.3 Radiation from Nonrelativistic Systems of Particles
3.4 Thomson Scattering (Electron Scattering)
3.5 Radiation Reaction
3.6 Radiation from Harmonically Bound Particles
Chapter 4
Relativistic Covariance and Kinematics
4.1 Review of Lorentz Transformations
4.2 FourVectors
4.3 Tensor Analysis
4.4 Covariance of Electromagnetic Phenomena
4.5 A Physical Understanding of Field Transformations 129
4.6 Fields of a Uniformly Moving Charge
4.7 Relativistic Mechanics and the Lorentz FourForce
4.8 Emission from Relativistic Particles
4.9 Invariant Phase Volumes and Specific Intensity
Chapter 5
Bremsstrahlung
5.1 Emission from SingleSpeed Electrons
5.2 Thermal Bremsstrahlung Emission
5.3 Thermal Bremsstrahlung (FreeFree) Absorption
5.4 Relativistic Bremsstrahlung
Chapter 6
Synchrotron Radiation
6.1 Total Emitted Power
6.2 Spectrum of Synchrotron Radiation: A Qualitative Discussion
6.3 Spectral Index for PowerLaw Electron Distribution
6.4 Spectrum and Polarization of Synchrotron Radiation: A Detailed Discussion
6.5 Polarization of Synchrotron Radiation
6.6 Transition from Cyclotron to Synchrotron Emission
6.7 Distinction between Received and Emitted Power
6.8 Synchrotron SelfAbsorption
6.9 The Impossibility of a Synchrotron Maser in Vacuum
Chapter 7
Compton Scattering
7.1 Cross Section and Energy Transfer for the Fundamental Process
7.2 Inverse Compton Power for Single Scattering
7.3 Inverse Compton Spectra for Single Scattering
7.4 Energy Transfer for Repeated Scatterings in a Finite, Thermal Medium: The Compton Y Parameter
7.5 Inverse Compton Spectra and Power for Repeated Scatterings by Relativistic Electrons of Small Optical Depth
7.6 Repeated Scatterings by Nonrelativistic Electrons: The Kompaneets Equation
7.7 Spectral Regimes for Repeated Scattering by Nonrelativistic Electrons
Chapter 8
Plasma Effects
8.1 Dispersion in Cold, Isotropic Plasma
8.2 Propagation Along a Magnetic Field;
Faraday Rotation
8.3 Plasma Effects in HighEnergy Emission Processes
Chapter 9
Atomic Structure
9.1 A Review of the Schrödinger Equation
9.2 One Electron in a Central Field
9.3 ManyElectron Systems
9.4 Perturbations, Level Splittings, and Term Diagrams
9.5 Thermal Distribution of Energy Levels and Ionization
Chapter 10
Radiative Transitions
10.1 SemiClassical Theory of Radiative Transitions
10.2 The Dipole Approximation
10.3 Einstein Coefficients and Oscillator Strengths
10.4 Selection Rules
10.5 Transition Rates
10.6 Line Broadening Mechanisms
Chapter 11
Molecular Structure
11.1 The BornOppenheimer Approximation: An Order of Magnitude Estimate of Energy Levels
11.2 Electronic Binding of Nuclei
11.3 Pure Rotation Spectra
11.4 RotationVibration Spectra
11.5 ElectronicRotationalVibrational Spectra
Solutions
Index
Fundamentals of Radiative Transfer
1.1 The Electromagnetic Spectrum;
Elementary Properties of Radiation
1.2 Radiative Flux
1.3 The Specific Intensity and Its Moments
1.4 Radiative Transfer
1.5 Thermal Radiation
1.6 The Einstein Coefficients
1.7 Scattering Effects;
Random Walks
1.8 Radiative Diffusion
Chapter 2
Basic Theory of Radiation Fields
2.1 Review of Maxwell's Equations
2.2 Plane Electromagnetic Waves
2.3 The Radiation Spectrum
2.4 Polarization and Stokes Parameters 62
2.5 Electromagnetic Potentials
2.6 Applicability of Transfer Theory and the Geometrical Optics Limit
Chapter 3
Radiation from Moving Charges
3.1 Retarded Potentials of Single Moving Charges: The LiénardWiechart Potentials
3.2 The Velocity and Radiation Fields
3.3 Radiation from Nonrelativistic Systems of Particles
3.4 Thomson Scattering (Electron Scattering)
3.5 Radiation Reaction
3.6 Radiation from Harmonically Bound Particles
Chapter 4
Relativistic Covariance and Kinematics
4.1 Review of Lorentz Transformations
4.2 FourVectors
4.3 Tensor Analysis
4.4 Covariance of Electromagnetic Phenomena
4.5 A Physical Understanding of Field Transformations 129
4.6 Fields of a Uniformly Moving Charge
4.7 Relativistic Mechanics and the Lorentz FourForce
4.8 Emission from Relativistic Particles
4.9 Invariant Phase Volumes and Specific Intensity
Chapter 5
Bremsstrahlung
5.1 Emission from SingleSpeed Electrons
5.2 Thermal Bremsstrahlung Emission
5.3 Thermal Bremsstrahlung (FreeFree) Absorption
5.4 Relativistic Bremsstrahlung
Chapter 6
Synchrotron Radiation
6.1 Total Emitted Power
6.2 Spectrum of Synchrotron Radiation: A Qualitative Discussion
6.3 Spectral Index for PowerLaw Electron Distribution
6.4 Spectrum and Polarization of Synchrotron Radiation: A Detailed Discussion
6.5 Polarization of Synchrotron Radiation
6.6 Transition from Cyclotron to Synchrotron Emission
6.7 Distinction between Received and Emitted Power
6.8 Synchrotron SelfAbsorption
6.9 The Impossibility of a Synchrotron Maser in Vacuum
Chapter 7
Compton Scattering
7.1 Cross Section and Energy Transfer for the Fundamental Process
7.2 Inverse Compton Power for Single Scattering
7.3 Inverse Compton Spectra for Single Scattering
7.4 Energy Transfer for Repeated Scatterings in a Finite, Thermal Medium: The Compton Y Parameter
7.5 Inverse Compton Spectra and Power for Repeated Scatterings by Relativistic Electrons of Small Optical Depth
7.6 Repeated Scatterings by Nonrelativistic Electrons: The Kompaneets Equation
7.7 Spectral Regimes for Repeated Scattering by Nonrelativistic Electrons
Chapter 8
Plasma Effects
8.1 Dispersion in Cold, Isotropic Plasma
8.2 Propagation Along a Magnetic Field;
Faraday Rotation
8.3 Plasma Effects in HighEnergy Emission Processes
Chapter 9
Atomic Structure
9.1 A Review of the Schrödinger Equation
9.2 One Electron in a Central Field
9.3 ManyElectron Systems
9.4 Perturbations, Level Splittings, and Term Diagrams
9.5 Thermal Distribution of Energy Levels and Ionization
Chapter 10
Radiative Transitions
10.1 SemiClassical Theory of Radiative Transitions
10.2 The Dipole Approximation
10.3 Einstein Coefficients and Oscillator Strengths
10.4 Selection Rules
10.5 Transition Rates
10.6 Line Broadening Mechanisms
Chapter 11
Molecular Structure
11.1 The BornOppenheimer Approximation: An Order of Magnitude Estimate of Energy Levels
11.2 Electronic Binding of Nuclei
11.3 Pure Rotation Spectra
11.4 RotationVibration Spectra
11.5 ElectronicRotationalVibrational Spectra
Solutions
Index
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George B. Rybicki received his B.S. degree in physics from CarnegieMellon University and his Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University. He is a physicist at the HarvardSmithsonian Center for Astrophysics and lecturer in the Astronomy Department at Harvard. His research interests include stellar atmospheres, stellar dynamics and radiative transfer. Alan P. Lightman received his A.B. degree in physics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology. He was a research fellow at Cornell and then an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University from 19761979. He is presently at the HarvardSmithsonian Center for Astrophysics. His research includes work in general relativity, the astrophysics of black holes, radiation mechanisms, and stellar dynamics. He is also a coauthor of Problem Book in Relativity and Gravitation (1975).
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