The space between the stars is filled with matter, magnetic fields, and radiation. This course describes this ‘interstellar medium’ as an an integral part of galactic ‘ecosystems’. It provides an overview of the known constituents of the ISM (ionized, atomic, and molecular gas; dust; magnetic fields; cosmic rays; EM radiation), and the different environments in which these are encountered (the 2- and 3-phase models of the ISM) along with the observational diagnostics (atomic and molecular spectroscopy; spectral energy distributions). It discusses the physical processes that govern the interactions within the ISM and with stars (energy balance; shocks). And it highlights the relationships between the ISM and stars and their host galaxies (birth and death of stars; supernovae; nuclei of active galaxies).
Lectures and assignments
Obligatory: Physics of the Interstellar and Intergalactic Medium Bruce T. Draine Princeton University Press ISBN 978-0-691-12214-4 (paperback) ISBN 978-0-691-12213-7 (hardback)
Form of examination
Oral, by appointment.
More information can be found on the lecturer’s website