THE ASTROCHEMICAL EVOLUTION OF THE INTERSTELLAR MEDIUM
by
Emma L.O. Bakes
NASA - Ames Research Center


A descriptive text A detailed Table of Contents Quotes

hardbound: Dfl. 57.50 incl. postage / ISBN: 90-5598-002-1 / (EC customers must add Dfl. 3.45 VAT)
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The style and level of writing of this text is such that it fits easily into lectures on the Interstellar Medium or Astrochemistry.


This book, aimed at graduate students and interested scientists, is a overview of the broad field of astrochemistry: from the creation of molecules after a supernova, via the processes in the diffuse and dense interstellar medium to the formation of planets and the forming of molecules that ultimately lead to the origin of life.

It starts with focusing on the chemistry resulting from most momentous and violent upheaval in the ISM, a supernova, producing a major enrichment in heavy elements up to uranium. Then the author continues to chart the cooling and expansion of hot, rarefied gas into cool, diffuse ISM and examines the proliferation of rich organic chemistry in this relatively photon free environment.

This treatise is followed by a discussion on the collapse of the diffuse gas into a dense molecular cloud and the exotic chemistry occurring in the gas and dust phases as star formation occurs. The next chapter analyses chemistry inherent in the formation of a protoplanetary disk and planetesimals, and, to conclude, the author discusses the formation of life and the likelihood that life is not a phenomenon exclusive to Earth.

This book highlights the interdisciplinary nature of cosmochemistry, where observational, theoretical and experimental science unite in the quest for a unified model of the evolution of the Universe, galaxies, stars, planetary systems, prebiology and finally, life bearing molecules.

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