Spiral Structure in Galaxies: A Density Wave Theory

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9780262023962: Spiral Structure in Galaxies: A Density Wave Theory

How does it happen that billions of stars can cooperate to produce the beautiful spirals that characterize so many galaxies, including ours? This book presents a theory of spiral structure that has been developed over the past three decades under the continuous stimulus of new observational studies. The theory unfolds in a way that can be grasped by any reader with an undergraduate science background who is interested in astronomy, as well as by graduate students and scientists actively involved in astronomy or related subjects who want to see the "backbone" and the physical content of the theory.The foundations of this theoretical framework were laid in the early 1960s, following the pioneering work of B. Lindblad. C. C. Lin had already contributed significantly to the field of fluid mechanics when he turned his attention to spiral structures, and he has focused on the problem ever since. Giuseppe Bertin joined this research effort when he first visited at MIT in 1975, bringing to the project knowledge from his work on elliptical galaxies and plasma astrophysics. Together, Bertin and Lin have contributed to the exciting developments on spiral structure of the last few decades, working closely with many observers and other theorists. In this book they describe the density-wave theory with the goal of making the key concepts and astrophysical implications explicit and accessible.The essence of the solution Bertin and Lin present is that the spirals are wave rather than material phenomena and generally trace intrinsic characteristics of the individual galaxies. The book is in three parts -- Physical Concepts, Observational Studies, and Dynamical Mechanisms -- with most of the technical details confinedto the last part.

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From the Back Cover:

Together, Bertin and Lin have contributed to the exciting developments on spiral structure of the last few decades, working closely with many observers and other theorists. In this book they describe the density wave theory with the goal of making the key concepts and astrophysical implications explicit and accessible.

About the Author:

Giuseppe Bertin is Professor of Physics at the University of Milan, Italy; previously he was in the faculty of the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa. He has also held several positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has been a member of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara (in 2006 and 2009). Professor Bertin is also author of Spiral Structure in Galaxies: A Density Wave Theory with C. C. Lin, and editor of the proceedings of a series of three international workshops on plasmas in the laboratory and in the universe. He is the recipient of the Italian National Academy's Premio del Presidente della Repubblica in Science for 2013.

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Bertin, G; Lin, C C
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Bertin, G, Lin, C C
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G Bertin, C C Lin
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