- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Wiley-VCH; Revised edition (March 26, 1985)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0471827592
- ISBN-13: 978-0471827597
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Radiative Processes in Astrophysics Revised Edition
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From the Back Cover
Radiative Processes in Astrophysics This clear, straightforward, and fundamental introduction is designed to present-from a physicist's point of view-radiation processes and their applications to astrophysical phenomena and space science. It covers such topics as radiative transfer theory, relativistic covariance and kinematics, bremsstrahlung radiation, synchrotron radiation, Compton scattering, some plasma effects, and radiative transitions in atoms. Discussion begins with first principles, physically motivating and deriving all results rather than merely presenting finished formulae. However, a reasonably good physics background (introductory quantum mechanics, intermediate electromagnetic theory, special relativity, and some statistical mechanics) is required. Much of this prerequisite material is provided by brief reviews, making the book a self-contained reference for workers in the field as well as the ideal text for senior or first-year graduate students of astronomy, astrophysics, and related physics courses. Radiative Processes in Astrophysics also contains about 75 problems, with solutions, illustrating applications of the material and methods for calculating results. This important and integral section emphasizes physical intuition by presenting important results that are used throughout the main text; it is here that most of the practical astrophysical applications become apparent.
About the Author
George B. Rybicki received his B.S. degree in physics from Carnegie-Mellon University and his Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University. He is a physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and lecturer in the Astronomy Department at Harvard. His research interests include stellar atmospheres, stellar dynamics and radiative transfer. Alan P. Lightman received his A.B. degree in physics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology. He was a research fellow at Cornell and then an Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Harvard University from 1976-1979. He is presently at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. His research includes work in general relativity, the astrophysics of black holes, radiation mechanisms, and stellar dynamics. He is also a coauthor of Problem Book in Relativity and Gravitation (1975).
Top customer reviews
subject, is difficult to teach. It requires to go deep into
the physics of the objects under study (which span the whole
Universe) but alto to keep a broad view (the so called "Big
Picture") since most of the objects and their histories
cannot be understood if they are isolated from the others.
One of the problems a teacher faces is, hence, how to strike a
balance between these two disparate goals within the limited
time of one or two academic terms.
Rybicki and Lightman success with this book is to take the
physics of astrophysical problems involving radiation from
the general approaches of the physics books to the particular
conditions of most of the cases that astronomy cares about
without leaving rigorousity along the way. With a little
abuse of language: They bring Physics a step closer to
On the other hand, the area of actual applications that
astronomers use is almost neglected. For example, the
introductory chapters on Radiative Transfer and Black
Body Radiation could have served to motivate a chapter on
theoretical basis of photometry (theoretical approach to
color indices, extinction by dust or other microscopic
particles). This would have given the student a more
realistic flavor of the tools that astrophysicists use
in their everyday (every night?) work. The Problem Sets,
in addition, are claiming for a few numerical
applications to profit from the, now easily available
to students, computer power.
Every serious astrophysics teacher and student should
use this book... and think hard on how to take the
next step from Rybicki and Lightman to the Absolute
Magnitude versus Color Index diagrams.