The Physics of Fluids and Plasmas: An Introduction for Astrophysicists

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9781139171069: The Physics of Fluids and Plasmas: An Introduction for Astrophysicists

A good working knowledge of fluid mechanics and plasma physics is essential for the modern astrophysicist. This graduate textbook provides a clear, pedagogical introduction to these core subjects. Assuming an undergraduate background in physics, this book develops fluid mechanics and plasma physics from first principles. This book is unique because it presents neutral fluids and plasmas in a unified scheme, clearly indicating both their similarities and their differences. Also, both the macroscopic (continuum) and microscopic (particles) theories are developed, establishing the connections between them. Throughout, key examples from astrophysics are used, though no previous knowledge of astronomy is assumed. Exercises are included at the end of chapters to test the reader's understanding. This textbook is aimed primarily at astrophysics graduate students. It will also be of interest to advanced students in physics and applied mathematics seeking a unified view of fluid mechanics and plasma physics, encompassing both the microscopic and macroscopic theories.

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Book Description:

A good working knowledge of fluid mechanics and plasma physics is essential for the modern astrophysicist. This graduate textbook provides a clear, pedagogical introduction to these core subjects. This book is unique because it presents neutral fluids and plasmas in a unified scheme. Also, both the macroscopic (continuum) and microscopic (particles) theories are developed. Throughout, exercises are included to test the reader's understanding. This textbook is aimed primarily at astrophysics graduate students. It will also be of interest to advanced students in physics and applied mathematics seeking a unified view of fluid mechanics and plasma physics, encompassing both the microscopic and macroscopic theories.

Review:

"The Physics of Fluids and Plasmas presents the basic ideas of hydrodynamics, plasma dynamics, and stellar dynamics under realistic astrophysical conditions. The text is unique in its extensive development of the similarities and differences of these three concepts, combining the essential formal calculations with the simple physical concepts to give the reader an intuitive grasp of the dynamical phenomena of the active astronomical universe...the author applies the theoretical tools to such diverse phenomena as magnetic buoyancy and sunspots, magnetohydrodynamics dynamos, stellar winds, jets, coronal heating, magnetic reconnection, accretion disks, etc....The new student, as well as the experienced research worker, will find this textbook useful and instructive." Professor Eugene N. Parker, Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago.

"[This] book provides a comprehensive introduction to both fluid dynamics and to plasma physics, with many astrophysical examples. Here at last is an excellent textbook for a theoretical course, at graduate level, in plasma astrophysics." Professor Nigel O. Weiss, FRS, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge

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