This is a balanced textbook presenting the theory and observations of stars and their evolution - a cornerstone of Astrophysics.
Decoding the Stars is a companion volume to Decoding the Cosmos from astrophysics teacher and researcher, Professor Judith Irwin. The text presents an accessible, student-friendly guide to the key theories and principles of stars, emphasizing the close connection between observation and theory.
To aid in reader comprehension, the text includes further online resources and problems at the end of each chapter. Many examples throughout the text illustrate the important physics in a given process without resorting to complex numerical modelling. However, some problems introduce numerical modelling results using appropriate online resources.
Sample topics covered in Decoding the Stars include:
- The Sun, gaseous and radiative processes
- Stellar interiors, energy transport mechanisms, stellar cores and nuclear energy generation, the global energy budget, timescales, and stability
- Observational constraints, variable stars, and star formation from molecular clouds to the ZAMS
- Evolutionary tracks on the HR diagram for stars of different masses, and how stars end their lives
- Stellar remnants - white dwarfs, neutron stars and pulsars, and black holes
Decoding the Stars is a highly useful textbook resource for second- to fourth-year undergraduate students pursuing an Astrophysics program, along with Physics undergraduates who have opted to take stellar structure and evolution as part of their course. It will also be useful for new graduate students who want a solid grounding in stellar astrophysics.
The author Professor Judith Irwin teaches undergraduate and graduate physics, astrophysics, and astronomy in the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy at Queen's University, Canada. Her research focuses on gaseous halos of spiral galaxies.