Interstellar dust grains catalyse chemical reactions, absorb, scatter, polarise and re-radiate starlight and constitute the building blocks for the formation of planets. Understanding this interstellar component is therefore of primary importance in many areas of astronomy & astrophysics. For example, observers need to understand how dust effects light passing through molecular clouds. Astrophysicists wish to comprehend how dust enables the collapse of clouds or how it determines the spectral behaviour of protostars, star forming regions or whole galaxies. This book gives a thorough theoretical description of the fundamental physics of interstellar dust: its composition, morphology, size distribution, dynamics, optical and thermal properties, alignment, polarisation, scattering, radiation and spectral features.
This encyclopedic book provides the basic physics towards understanding the solid matter in interstellar space. It includes all the necessary physics, including solid state physics, radiative transport, optical properties, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics. It then uses all of this basic physics in the specific case of dust grains in the interstellar medium.
Interstellar dust clouds catalyze simple chemical reactions, absorbs, scatters, polarizes and re-radiates starlight and forms the building blocks for planet and stellar formation. Understanding this interstellar medium is then of primary importance in many areas of astronomy & astrophysics. For example observers need to understand how it effects light passing through dust and molecular clouds, astrophysicists need to comprehend the formation and structure of dust clouds and how it collapses to form stars and planets.
Written in an accessible and descriptive manner, this will be essential supplementary reading for advanced undergraduate and graduate students taking courses on the interstellar medium and active researchers in need of a single source of well illustrated and detailed information.
Table of Contents
The dielectric permeability; How to evaluate grain cross sections; Very small and very big particles; Case studies of Mie calculus; Particle statistics; The radiative transition probability; Structure and composition of dust; Dust radiation; Dust and its environment; Polarization; Grain alignment; PAHs and spectral features of dust; Radiative transport; Diffuse matter in the Milky Way; Stars and their formation; Emission from young stars. Appendices Mathematical formulae; List of symbols.
"It is by far the most comprehensive, detailed, and in depth work ever published on this subject. The book derives all of the relevant physics for interstellar dust from first principles. It includes all of the necessary physics of dust grains, including solid state physics, radiative transport, optical properties, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics. Its treatment of all of these subjects is detailed and precise. It then uses all of this basic physics in the specific case of dust grains in the interstellar medium. It represents the most complete volume on this subject and as such is a tremendous achievement. I am sure it will remain the standard text on this subject for many years to come."
- Professor D. Ward-Thompson, Cardiff University, Wales
"It is the best book on cosmic dust..."
- Professor A.V. Tutukov
"This is an encyclopaedic work, which will, I expect, prove a valuable reference for students and researchers in the field."
- Professor B Draine
"The Physics of Interstellar Dust can be a valuable tool to anyone interested in the subject . . . In some ways, I view this book as containing almost all of physics applied to interstellar dust . . . This is a substantial book aimed at the specialized study of interstellar dust. I recommend that you definitely consider using this text if you have to teach a course about interstellar dust or want to do an independent study on the topic."
- Edward L Wright, University of California in Physics Today, January 2004
"All of the material is presented clearly and concisely."
- Tom Hartquist in A&G