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Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium

Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium

Lyman Spitzer Jr.

ISBN: 978-0-471-29335-4

May 1998

335 pages

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Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium discusses the nature of interstellar matter, with a strong emphasis on basic physical principles, and summarizes the present state of knowledge about the interstellar medium by providing the latest observational data. Physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium are treated, with frequent references to observational results. The overall equilibrium and dynamical state of the interstellar gas are described, with discussions of explosions produced by star birth and star death and the initial phases of cloud collapse leading to star formation.
Interstellar Matter-- An Overview.

Elastic Collisions and Kinetic Equilibrium.

Radiative Processes.


Ionization and Dissociation.

Kinetic Temperature.

Optical Properties of Grains.

Polarization and Grain Alignment.

Physical Properties of Grains.

Dynamical Principles.

Overall Equilibrium.

Explosive Motions.

Gravitational Motion.