The Chemically Controlled Cosmos: Astronomical Molecules from the Big Bang to Exploding Stars

The Chemically Controlled Cosmos: Astronomical Molecules from the Big Bang to Exploding Stars

by T. W. Hartquist, D. A. Williams
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521419832

ISBN-13: 9780521419833

Pub. Date: 06/28/1996

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Simple chemistry governs a host of the exotic objects that populate our cosmos. For example, molecules in the early Universe acted as natural temperature regulators, keeping the primordial gas cool and, in turn, allowing galaxies and stars to form. What are the tools of the trade for the cosmic chemist and what can they teach us about the Universe we live in? These

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Overview

Simple chemistry governs a host of the exotic objects that populate our cosmos. For example, molecules in the early Universe acted as natural temperature regulators, keeping the primordial gas cool and, in turn, allowing galaxies and stars to form. What are the tools of the trade for the cosmic chemist and what can they teach us about the Universe we live in? These are the questions answered in this engaging and informative guide—the first book for nonspecialists on molecular astrophysics. In clear, nontechnical terms, and without formal mathematics, Hartquist and Williams show how to study and understand the behavior of molecules in a host of astronomical situations. Readers will learn about the secretive formation of stars deep within interstellar clouds; the origin of our own solar system; the cataclysmic deaths of many massive stars that explode as supernovae; and the hearts of active galactic nuclei, the most powerful objects in the universe. This book provides an accessible introduction to a wealth of astrophysics, and an understanding of how cosmic chemistry allows the investigation of many of the most exciting questions concerning astronomy today.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521419833
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
06/28/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
185
Product dimensions:
6.85(w) x 9.72(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. A brief history; 2. Setting the astronomical scene; 3. The tools of the trade; 4. Chemistry after the Big Bang; 5. Interstellar clouds - the birth places of stars; 6. Star formation; 7. The solar system at birth; 8. Stellar winds and outflows; 9. Astronomical masers near bright stars; 10. Supernovae: fairly big bang; 11. Active galaxies; 12. Epilogue; Index.

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