An Introduction to the Theory of Stellar Structure and Evolution / Edition 1

An Introduction to the Theory of Stellar Structure and Evolution / Edition 1

by Dina Prialnik
     
 

ISBN-10: 052165937X

ISBN-13: 9780521659376

Pub. Date: 07/28/2000

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Using fundamental physics, the theory of stellar structure and evolution can predict how stars are born, how their complex internal structure changes, what nuclear fuel they burn, and their ultimate fate. This textbook is a stimulating Introduction for students of astronomy, physics, and applied mathematics, taking a course on the physics of stars. It uniquely

Overview

Using fundamental physics, the theory of stellar structure and evolution can predict how stars are born, how their complex internal structure changes, what nuclear fuel they burn, and their ultimate fate. This textbook is a stimulating Introduction for students of astronomy, physics, and applied mathematics, taking a course on the physics of stars. It uniquely emphasizes the basic physical principles governing stellar structure and evolution.

This second edition contains two new chapters on mass loss from stars and interacting binary stars, and new exercises. Clear and methodical, it explains the processes in simple terms, while maintaining mathematical rigour. Starting from general principles, this textbook leads students step-by-step to a global, comprehensive understanding of the subject. Fifty exercises and full solutions allow students to test their understanding. No prior knowledge of astronomy is required, and only a basic background in undergraduate physics and mathematics is necessary.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521659376
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
07/28/2000
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
276
Product dimensions:
6.97(w) x 9.96(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the second edition page xi

Preface to the first edition xiii

1 Observational background and basic assumptions 1

1.1 What is a star? 1

1.2 What can we learn from observations? 2

1.3 Basic assumptions 6

1.4 The H-R diagram: a tool for testing stellar evolution 9

2 The equations of stellar evolution 15

2.1 Local thermodynamic equilibrium 16

2.2 The energy equation 17

2.3 The equation of motion 19

2.4 The virial theorem 21

2.5 The total energy of a star 23

2.6 The equations governing composition changes 25

2.7 The set of evolution equations 28

2.8 The characteristic timescales of stellar evolution 29

3 Elementary physics of gas and radiation in stellar interiors 34

3.1 The equation of state 35

3.2 The ion pressure 37

3.3 The electron pressure 38

3.4 The radiation pressure 42

3.5 The internal energy of gas and radiation 43

3.6 The adiabatic exponent 44

3.7 Radiative transfer 46

4 Nuclear processes that take place in stars 51

4.1 The binding energy of the atomic nucleus 51

4.2 Nuclear reaction rates 53

4.3 Hydrogen burning I: the p - p chain 57

4.4 Hydrogen burning II: the CNO bi-cycle 59

4.5 Helium burning: the triple-a reaction 61

4.6 Carbon and oxygen burning 63

4.7 Silicon burning: nuclear statistical equilibrium 65

4.8 Creation of heavy elements: the s- and r-processes 66

4.9 Pair production 67

4.10 Iron photodisintegration 68

5 Equilibrium stellar configurations - simple models 70

5.1 The stellar structure equations 70

5.2 What is a simple stellar model? 71

5.3 Polytropic models 72

5.4 The Chandrasekhar mass 77

5.5 The Eddington luminosity 78

5.6 The standard model 80

5.7The point-source model 83

6 The stability of stars 87

6.1 Secular thermal stability 88

6.2 Cases of thermal instability 89

6.3 Dynamical stability 92

6.4 Cases of dynamical instability 94

6.5 Convection 96

6.6 Cases of convective instability 98

6.7 Conclusion 103

7 The evolution of stars - a schematic picture 104

7.1 Characterization of the (log T, log p) plane 105

7.2 The evolutionary path of the central point of a star in the (log T, log p) plane 110

7.3 The evolution of a star, as viewed from its centre 113

7.4 The theory of the main sequence 116

7.5 Outline of the structure of stars in late evolutionary stages 122

7.6 Shortcomings of the simple stellar evolution picture 126

8 Mass loss from stars 130

8.1 Observational evidence of mass loss 130

8.2 The mass loss equations 131

8.3 Solutions to the wind equations - the isothermal case 136

8.4 Mass loss estimates 139

8.5 Empirical solutions 142

9 The evolution of stars - a detailed picture 144

9.1 The Hayashi zone and die pre-main-sequence phase 145

9.2 The main-sequence phase 151

9.3 Solar neutrinos 155

9.4 The red giant phase 160

9.5 Helium burning in the core 165

9.6 Thermal pulses and the asymptotic giant branch 168

9.7 The superwind and the planetary nebula phase 173

9.8 White dwarfs: the final state of nonmassive stars 177

9.9 The evolution of massive stars 182

9.10 The H-R diagram - Epilogue 186

10 Exotic stars: supernovae, pulsars and black holes 189

10.1 What is a supernova? 189

10.2 Iron-disintegration supernovae: Type II - the fate of massive stars 193

10.3 Nucleosynthesis during Type II supernova explosions 197

10.4 Supernova progenies: neutron stars - pulsars 200

10.5 Carbon-detonation supernovae: Type Ia 204

10.6 Pair-production supernovae and black holes - the fate of very massive stars 205

11 Interacting binary stars 208

11.1 What is a binary star? 208

11.2 The general effects of stellar binarity 211

11.3 The mechanics of mass transfer between stars 216

11.4 Conservative mass transfer 219

11.5 Accretion discs 220

11.6 Cataclysmic phenomena: Nova outbursts 223

12 The stellar life cycle 931

12.1 The interstellar medium 231

12.2 Star formation 232

12.3 Stars, brown dwarfs and planets 236

12.4 The initial mass function 239

12.5 The global stellar evolution cycle 243

Appendix A The equation of radiative transfer 251

Appendix B The equation of state for degenerate electrons 259

Appendix C Solutions to all the exercises 270

Appendix D Physical and astronomical constants and conversion factors 300

Bibliography 303

Index 300

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >