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Look Inside The Chemically Controlled Cosmos

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

$44.99 (C)

  • Date Published: March 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521056373

$ 44.99 (C)
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  • 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.

    • The first book for non-specialists on molecules in the Cosmos (at the level of New Scientist, Scientific American and popular astronomy magazines)
    • No formal mathematics required
    • Suitable for students in non-science subjects taking a non-mathematical course in astronomy
    • An introduction to the tools of the cosmic chemist, and how they can be used to understand a host of objects in the Universe
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "It would make an excellent introduction to molecular astrophysics for a beginning graduate student...any scientist curious about the chemistry of astrophysical objects will find it a useful resource." Stephen Lepp, Nature

    "...an extremely valuable synthesis of our present knowledge of the important chemical processes in space." Marcus Chown, New Scientist

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521056373
    • length: 188 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.314kg
    • contains: 64 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: Available
  • 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.

  • Authors

    T. W. Hartquist, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany

    D. A. Williams, University College London

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