Old Stellar Populations : How to Study the Fossil Record of Galaxy Formation

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/22/2013
  • Publisher: Vch Pub
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The book discusses the theoretical path to decoding the information gathered from observations of old stellar systems. It focuses on old stellar systems because these are the fossil record of galaxy formation and provide invaluable information ont he evolution of cosmic structures and the universe as a whole. The aim is to present results obtained in the past few years for theoretical developments in low mass star research and in advances in our knowledge of the evolution of old stellar systems. A particularly representative case is the recent discovery of multiple stellar populations in galactic globular clusters that represents one of the hottest topics in stellar and galactic astrophysics and is discussed in detail.

Author Biography

Santi Cassisi received his degree in physics from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1991. He then spent a year at the Astronomical Observatory of Meudon-Paris, France, followed by a PhD-fellowship at the University of L'Aquila, Italy, from 1995 to 1997. In 1998, he accepted a post as staff researcher at the Collurania-Teramo-Observatory, a research unit of INAF. He currently holds a position as associate professor at the same institution. Professor Cassisi's research focuses on theoretical stellar evolution and its application to the study of both galactic and extra-galactic stellar populations. He has authored about 210 scientific papers, 115 of them in peer-reviewed journals, and a monograph.

Maurizio Salaris studied physics at the University of Rome 'La Sapienza', and then worked at the Collurania-Teramo-Observatory, Italy, the Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, and the Astrophysics Research Institute of the Liverpool John Moores University, UK, where he currently holds the post of Professor of Stellar Astrophysics. He has published about 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals and books, plus a monograph, co-authored by Santi Cassisi. Professor Salaris's scientific work focuses on theoretical stellar evolution, stellar population synthesis models, and the interpretation of photometric and spectroscopic observations of Galactic and extragalactic stellar populations.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
1.1. The Problem of Galaxy Formation
1.2. Decoding the Fossil Record: Photometric and Spectroscopic Diagnostics
1.3. Decoding the Fossil Record: The Tools
1.4. Low-Mass Stars
2. Physical Processes in Low-mass Stars
2.1. Basic Equations
2.2. Thermodynamics of Low-Mass Stars
2.3. Energy Production and Nucleosynthesis
2.4. Radiation and Conduction
2.5. Convection
2.6. Atmospheric Structure
2.7. Mass Loss
2.8. Atomic Diffusion
2.9. Rotation and Rotational Mixing
2.10. Additional Processes
3. Early Evolution
3.1. Overview
3.2. Early Nuclear Burnings
3.3. Hayashi Track and Convection
3.3. Lithium Depletion Boundary
3.4. Gyrochronology
4. Hydrogen Burning Stages
4.1. Overview
4.2. Very Low-Mass Stars
4.3. The Main Sequence: Stars with Radiative Cores
4.4. The Main Sequence: Stars with Convective Cores
4.5. Chemical Evolution along the Main Sequence
4.6. The Standard Solar Model
4.7. Blue Stragglers and SX Phoenicis Stars
4.8. Subgiant Branch Evolution
4.9. Red Giant Branch Evolution
4.10. Main Sequence and Red Giant Branch Isochrones
5. Helium Burning Stages
5.1. Overview
5.2. Semiconvection and Overshooting
5.3. The Horizontal Branch
5.4. Instability Strip
5.5. The Red Clump
5.6. Hot Flashers
5.7. The Effect of Diffusion, Rotation and Mass Loss
6. Double Shell Burning Stage
6.1. Overview
6.2. Early AGB Phase
6.3. Thermal Pulses
6.4. Nucleosynthesis
6.5. Evolution of Surface Chemical Abundances
6.6. Calibration of AGB Models
6.7. Synthetic AGB Models
6.8. Long Period Variables
6.9. Nucleochronolgy
6.10. Post-AGB Evolution
7. White Dwarf Sequences
7.1. Overview
7.2. Structure and Energy Budget
7.3. From Formation to Crystallization
7.4. Crystallization and Beyond
7.5. Properties of White Dwarf Isochrones
7.6. HE-Core White Dwarfs
8. Old Populations in the Galaxy
8.1. Introduction
8.2. Galactic Globular Clusters
8.3. Globular Cluster Distances
8.4. Globular Cluster Ages
8.5. Estimates of Cosmological HE
8.6. Multipopulations in Globular Clusters
8.7. Halo Field Star Ages
8.8. Ultra Metal Poor Halo Stars
8.9. Old Open Clusters
8.10. Old Open Clusters Ages
8.11. Eclipsing Binary Systems: Ages and Distances of Star Clusters
9. Resolved old Systems in the Local Group
9.1. Introduction
9.2. Magellanic Clouds Clusters
9.3. Globular Clusters in M31
9.4. Star Formation Histories of Dwarf Galaxies
10. Unresolved Old Systems
10.1. Introduction
10.2. Low Resolution Diagnostics
10.3. High Resolution Diagnostics
10.4. Extragalactic Globular Clusters
10.5. Elliptical Galaxies and Bulges

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