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The Formation of Stars

ISBN: 978-3-527-40559-6
865 pages
January 2005
The Formation of Stars (3527405593) cover image


This book is a comprehensive treatment of star formation, one of the most active fields of modern astronomy. The reader is guided through the subject in a logically compelling manner. Starting from a general description of stars and interstellar clouds, the authors delineate the earliest phases of stellar evolution. They discuss formation activity not only in the Milky Way, but also in other galaxies, both now and in the remote past. Theory and observation are thoroughly integrated, with the aid of numerous figures and images. In summary, this volume is an invaluable resource, both as a text for physics and astronomy graduate students, and as a reference for professional scientists.
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Table of Contents

I. Star Formation in our Galaxy
II. Physical Processes in Molecular Clouds
III. From Clouds to Stars
IV. Environmental Impact of Young Stars
V. Pre-Main-Sequence Stars
VI. A Universe of Stars
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Author Information

Steven Stahler is a research astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his doctorate in physics at Berkeley in 1980. Following postdoctoral studies at Cornell University and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and a faculty position at MIT, he returned to the West Coast to pursue diverse aspects of star formation theory, from the structure of interstellar clouds to the evolution of young stars themselves.

Francesco Palla is Director of the INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, in Florence, Italy. His collaboration with Steven Stahler began at
Cornell University, where he worked as an ESA fellow. His research interests include both observational and theoretical aspects of the interstellar medium and star formation.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • First up-to-date and in-depth textbook available on topic
  • The topic of the book is considered to be a major astronomical goal of the 21st century
  • Most astronomy lectures today have courses in star formation
  • Aimed at graduate students and experts working in interstellar medium/star formation research, this text is destined to become a major course text
  • To guide the instructor, the most essential chapters and sections are highlighted and assigned a timeframe which might be spent on teaching each part (assuming a 15-week-course with three hours of lecturing each)
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"The first graduate-level textbook devoted to star formation, this work fills a glaring gap. It covers all relevant areas of current research in this vital area of astronomy. While the emphasis is on theory, observations are also treated in a thorough and lucid manner."
Dr. Karl M. Menten
Director, Max-Planck-Institute for Radioastronomy
and Professor for Experimental Astrophysics,
Bonn University

"This is a timely treatment of one of the forefront issues in modern astronomy. Deciphering how stars form is fundamental to our understanding of the universe. This well written and illustrated text treats star
formation comprehensively, utilising the latest observations and theoretical insights, at a level that is appropriate for a physics major. It serves a unique role, in assembling and reviewing a reservoir of
knowledge that can only be found in academic journals, and provides a masterly overview of an important field."
Joseph Silk, Savilian Professor of Astronomy, Oxford University
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