An Introduction to Cosmochemistry

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This upper-division textbook describes the composition and evolution of material objects in the universe. The survey begins with a discussion of terrestrial materials and ends with the composition of quasars and distant galaxies. There are two main themes: chemical processes responsible for the abundances we observe, and nuclear processes in which the chemical elements originate. The author presents a total pedagogic synthesis of the subject, building on the basic information in the first chapters to lead into a fuller explanation of the composition of the planets and stellar and primordial nucleosynthesis. The later chapters treat the analytical methods of stellar and nebular spectra, and move on to the composition of stars and galaxies. The book is fully referenced and includes problem sets for the student.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...the chapters on stellar spectra analysis, peculiar stars, interstellar matter, and related topics are very detailed and informative, and provide an excellent overview of the topic that might be called 'astrochemistry.' The book can be highly recommended to anyone who wants to learn about these topics...The book is very well produced...this book will be of great value to all geochemists and cosmochemists, students and researchers alike, who want to learn more about the chemistry of stars, nebulae, and galaxies..." Christian Koeberl, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

"...a fine scholarly piece of work...the text often exudes the excitement of discovery and the thrill of scientific argument." Paul H. Benoit, Journal of the American Chemical Society

"The book is as delightful as its subject matter...This is a wonderful book—all chemistry, geology and astronomy graduate students should see it at least once in their formative periods." Derek Sears, Meteoritics

"...this is a wide-ranging, intelligent, and useful survey. Early research is given due homage, and the extensive bibliography includes citations up to 1993. The prose is engaging and readable for most subjects....Well produced, sturdy, and a bargain..." T.R. Blackburn, Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521459204
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 504
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Overview; 2. Minerals: an introduction to the nomenclature and chemistry; 3. A brief introduction to petrology; 4. A resumé of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics; 5. Condensation sequences and the geochemical classification of the elements; 6. The theory of the bulk composition of the planets; 7. Meteorites and the standard abundance distribution (SAD); 8. An introduction to isotope geology; 9. Some concepts from nuclear physics; 10. Energy generation in stars and nucleosynthesis; 11. Atomic and molecular spectra; 12. The analysis of stellar spectra; 13. The chemistry of stars and the stellar systems;14. Cold, non-stellar material in galaxies; 15. Emission line regions and their chemical abundances; 16. Abundances of the elements in galaxies.

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