Supernovae and Nucleosynthesis: An Investigation of the History of Matter, from the Big Bang to the Present

Overview

This book investigates the question of how matter has evolved since its origin in the Big Bang, from the cosmological synthesis of hydrogen and helium to the generation of the complex set of nuclei that comprise our world and our selves. A central theme is the evolution of gravitationally contained thermonuclear reactors, otherwise known as stars. Our current understanding is presented systematically and quantitatively, by combining simple analytic models with new ...

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Overview

This book investigates the question of how matter has evolved since its origin in the Big Bang, from the cosmological synthesis of hydrogen and helium to the generation of the complex set of nuclei that comprise our world and our selves. A central theme is the evolution of gravitationally contained thermonuclear reactors, otherwise known as stars. Our current understanding is presented systematically and quantitatively, by combining simple analytic models with new state-of-the-art computer simulations.

The narrative begins with the clues (primarily the solar system abundance pattern), the constraining physics (primarily nuclear and particle physics), and the thermonuclear burning in the Big Bang itself. It continues with a step-by-step description of how stars evolve by nuclear reactions, a critical investigation of supernova explosion mechanisms and the formation of neutron stars and of black holes, and an analysis of how such explosions appear to astronomers (illustrated by comparison with recent observations). It concludes with a synthesis of these ideas for galactic evolution, with implications for nucleosynthesis in the first generation of stars and for the solar system abundance pattern. Emphasis is given to questions that remain open, and to active research areas that bridge the disciplines of astronomy, cosmochemistry, physics, and planetary and space science. Extensive references are given.

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Editorial Reviews

Nature
The book is delightful reading. . . the best available source of material on supernova physics for the graduate student.
— A.G.W. Cameron
New Scientist
This well-illustrated and well-referenced volume is an extremely valuable addition to the astronomical literature.
Nature - A.G.W. Cameron
The book is delightful reading. . . the best available source of material on supernova physics for the graduate student.
From the Publisher

"The book is delightful reading. . . the best available source of material on supernova physics for the graduate student."--A.G.W. Cameron, Nature

"This well-illustrated and well-referenced volume is an extremely valuable addition to the astronomical literature."--New Scientist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691011479
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/4/1996
  • Series: Princeton Series in Astrophysics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 1,008,334
  • Product dimensions: 6.07 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.39 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
1 Introduction 1
2 Abundances of Nuclei 4
3 Some Aspects of Nuclear Physics 48
4 Nuclear Reaction Networks 92
5 Cosmological Nucleosynthesis 118
6 Some Properties of Stars 146
7 Hydrogen-Burning Stars 182
8 Helium-Burning Stars 222
9 Explosive Nucleosynthesis 249
10 Neutrino-Cooled Stars 284
11 Thermonuclear Explosions 324
12 Gravitational Collapse 381
13 Supernovae 414
14 Galactic Evolution 459
App. A Solar System Abundances 519
App. B Equations of State 532
App. C Stellar Structure 548
App. D Supernova Light Curves 558
References 573
Index 595
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