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The Physics and Chemistry of the Interstellar Medium
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  • Page extent: 510 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 1.1 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 523.1125
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: QB790 .T54 2005
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Interstellar matter
    • Molecular astrophysics
    • Galaxies

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521826341 | ISBN-10: 0521826349)

This work provides a comprehensive overview of our theoretical and observational understanding of the interstellar medium of galaxies. With emphasis on the microscopic physical and chemical processes in space, and their influence on the macroscopic structure of the interstellar medium of galaxies, the book includes developments in this area of molecular astrophysics. The various heating, cooling, and chemical processes relevant for the rarefied gas and submicron-sized dust grains that constitute the interstellar medium are discussed in detail. This provides a firm foundation for an in-depth understanding of the ionized, neutral atomic, and molecular phases of the interstellar medium. The physical and chemical properties of large polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon molecules and their role in the interstellar medium are highlighted, and the physics and chemistry of warm and dense photodissociation regions are discussed. This is an invaluable reference source for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, and research scientists.

• Provides an integrated approach to the origin and evolution of interstellar molecules and their role in the interstellar medium • Bridges the gap between physics, astronomy and chemistry; a rapidly expanding area of study • Includes chapters on intriguing subjects in this field, including 'Photodissociation Regions' and 'Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons'


1. The galactic ecosystem; 2. Cooling processes; 3. Heating processes; 4. Chemical processes; 5. Interstellar dust; 6. Interstellar polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon molecules; 7. HII regions; 8. The phases of the ISM; 9. Photodissociation regions; 10. Molecular clouds; 11. Interstellar shocks; 12. Dynamics of the interstellar medium; 13. The lifecycle of interstellar dust.


Review of the hardback: 'The book is modern, logical and clear, and will make a good textbook for advanced university courses.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

Review of the hardback: 'Alexander Tielens, a well-known and highly-regarded expert in the field, has written this book to meet the need for a comprehensive and wide-ranging high-level textbook on the subject. He has succeeded admirably. … The text in each chapter is quite dense, and graduate students must expect to work hard; but each chapter is accompanied by a helpful discussion of further reading. The serious student will find the bibliography invaluable. … This authoritative book, written by an expert in the subject, and - for these days - modestly priced, is highly recommended.' The Observatory

Review of the hardback: 'Astrochemistry … draws in elements of chemistry, physics, astronomy, applied mathematics and computer science … Covering such extensive subject material in one book would seem to be an impossible task for a single author, but Tielens has pulled it off with this excellent … volume. … This is a well-written book that would form a good basis for a postgraduate-level astrochemistry course.' Chemistry World

Review of the hardback: '… the book is comprehensive and destined to be a long-term success, both as a text for graduate students and as a reference for the established researcher who needs to fill a knowledge gap.' The Observatory

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