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Atomic Astrophysics and Spectroscopy

$65.99 (X)

  • Date Published: January 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107483583

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About the Authors
  • Spectroscopy enables the precise study of astronomical objects and phenomena. Bridging the gap between physics and astronomy, this is the first integrated graduate-level textbook on atomic astrophysics. It covers the basics of atomic physics and astrophysics, including state-of-the-art research applications, methods and tools. The content is evenly balanced between the physical foundations of spectroscopy and their applications to astronomical objects and cosmology. An undergraduate knowledge of physics is assumed, and relevant basic material is summarised at the beginning of each chapter. The material is completely self-contained and features sufficient background information for self-study. Advanced users will find it handy for spectroscopic studies. A website hosted by the authors contains updates, corrections, exercises and solutions, as well as news items from physics and astronomy related to spectroscopy. A link to this can be found at

    • A well-balanced treatment of atomic astrophysics covering the basics as well as advanced applications
    • Suitable for self-study; the basics are summarized at the beginning of each chapter
    • An accompanying website available at contains updates, corrections, exercises, solutions and more
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “This is a very important book that bridges the gap between modern atomic physics and modern astrophysics. It covers all the essential subjects, and is very well written. I think it will be of considerable value to research workers in both broad areas, to professors who wish to teach about the subjects, and to students. I expect that it will be very well received by both communities. I have learned a great deal from reading it myself. I'm happy that Cambridge will add this book to is distinguished series of books in physics and astrophysics.” Dimitri Mihalas, G.C. McVittie Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois and Laboratory Fellow, Los Alamos National Laboratory

    “Pradhan and Nahar have written the most coherent discussion of atomic processes that produce radiation in astrophysical thermal environments that I have read to date. Descriptions of the theoretical underpinnings of the processes are well balanced with the presentation of analytic relations that are necessary for the analysis of spectroscopic data. A great deal of ground is covered in the book and one of its strengths is that it provides the quantum mechanical basis for the processes while also giving the practical applications that are needed to interpret spectral features in astronomical objects. I highly recommend the book to spectroscopists as a fundamental resource.” Dr Robert Williams, Space Telescope Science Institute and President of the IAU

    "The discipline of Atomic Physics lies at the heart of Astrophysics. Most of what we know about the Universe is brought to us by radiation in the form of photons and it is the study of the spectra of the radiation that is our main source for understanding the nature of the Universe. The photons are modified on their journey to us by absorption, emission and scattering by atomic processes which provide a powerful diagnostic probe of the space through which they travel. The essential data that are observed are the spectral lines of the elements in their various ionization stages which the lines identify. The line strengths enable the element abundances to be determined and the physical characteristics of temperature,density and magnetic field and radiation intensity to be derived. By studying the atomic processes that control the physics of astrophysical plasma models of the spectra, the origins of the radiation can be modeled and the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars and planets and their interactions in the interstellar and intergalactic medium can be described. For the data analysis to be effective a secure extensive basis of understanding the extensive range of atomic processes that occur must be secured. Providing it is a major challenge. Atomic Astrophysics and Spectroscopy by two noted practitioners is an important step forward." Alexander Dalgarno, Phillips Professor of Astronomy, Harvard University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107483583
    • length: 376 pages
    • dimensions: 248 x 188 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.74kg
    • contains: 148 b/w illus. 36 exercises
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Atomic structure
    3. Atomic processes
    4. Radiative transitions
    5. Electron-ion collisions
    6. Photoionization
    7. Electron-ion recombination
    8. Multi-wavelength emission lines
    9. Absorption lines and radiative transfer
    10. Stellar properties and spectra
    11. Stellar opacity and radiative forces
    12. Gaseous nebulae and HII regions
    13. Active galactic nuclei and quasars
    14. Cosmology

  • Resources for

    Atomic Astrophysics and Spectroscopy

    Anil K. Pradhan, Sultana N. Nahar

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  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • High Energy Astrophysics
    • Introduction to Astrophysics I/ll
    • Observational Astrophysics
    • Physics of Astronomical Plasmas
  • Authors

    Anil K. Pradhan, Ohio State University
    Anil Pradhan is a Professor in the Department of Astronomy, the Chemical Physics Program, and the Biophysics Graduate Program at the Ohio State University, where he has taught a course on astrophysical spectroscopy for the past twenty years.

    Sultana N. Nahar, Ohio State University
    Sultana Nahar is a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Astronomy at the Ohio State University. She has an extensive background in atomic physics and astrophysics and is one of the foremost researchers on atomic processes.

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