Physics and Chemistry of the Interstellar Medium
University of Hong Kong
is one of the few modern texts on the interstellar medium. It is particularly
excellent for microphysical processes and particularly those that are not easily
accessible---physically oriented discussions
of atomic and molecular excitation and radiation, molecular binding and astrochemical processes, and important detailed aspects of interstellar grains such as the observational manifestations and formation/destruction mechanisms.
—Carl Heiles, UC Berkeley
recommend that this book be adopted by faculty for their courses. Students
will learn a great deal from it, and it will be useful as a reference for
researchers in this field."
—Mark Wolfire, University of Maryland
This book is a graduate-level text covering the fundamental physics and chemistry required for a modern understanding of the interstellar medium. Radiation mechanisms are comprehensively presented, and extensive examples are drawn from observations in the X-ray, ultraviolet, optical, infrared, mm/sub mm, and radio observations. This book goes beyond a phenomenological study of the interstellar medium to give a detailed quantitative treatment of the radiative and dynamical interactions between stars and the interstellar medium. With an emphasis on a physical understanding of these processes, the mathematical derivations are clean, elegant and easily understandable by anyone with an undergraduate background in physics.
About the Author
Sun Kwok is the Dean of Science and Chair Professor of Physics at the University of Hong Kong. He has published over 250 scientific papers in the fields of interstellar medium and stellar evolution and is best known for his theory on the origin of planetary nebulae and for the study of organic compounds in the circumstellar environment. His observing experience covers the entire electromagnetic spectrum from radio to X-ray, and has observed extensively with most major ground-based and space-based telescopes. He has also recently written two books, The Origin and Evolution of Planetary Nebulae and Cosmic Butterflies, published by Cambridge University Press.