Nuclear Astrophysics - Spring 2013


The course will not follow a textbook, but "Nuclear Physics of Stars" by Iliadis will be used as a course textbook. There will be reading assignments and suggestions out of this book, in particular from Chapter 1 which serves as a nice introduction to a variety of topics.

Nuclear astrophysics is a very diverse field spanning multiple disciplines. Each book makes certain choices about what to present at what level of detail. You might therefore want to consider buying or borrowing multiple books, also depending on your interests on the sliding scale from astrophysics to nuclear physics. Below a list of the textbooks in the field.

Author Title approx price comments
Christian Iliadis Nuclear Physics of Stars ~$100

New, and up to date. The authorative textbook in the field of "traditional" nuclear astrophysics dealing with theoretical and experimental aspects of nuclear reactions in stars and stellar explosions. Presents the field in great detail - excellent resource to "dig deeper" and invaluable reference for workers in the field. A must have if you expect nuclear astrophysics will be part of your scientific work.

Richard N. Boyd An Introduction to Nuclear Astrophysics ~$70 Relatively new and an excellent up to date introduction to the field. Of all books the selection of topics follows most closely this course. A good choice if you want to re-read the material presented in this course from a different source.
David Arnett Supernovae and Nucleosynthesis ~$60 Good book on basics such as abundances, reaction rates, reaction networks, but in terms of astrophysical scenarios limited to massive star nucleosynthesis and supernovae. Lots of information on models - good book if you are interested in massive star nucleosynthesis models.
Bernard E. J. Pagel Nucleosynthesis and Chemical Evolution of Galaxies ~$35 Good, broad introduction to the basics. Main focus on galactic chemical evolution, which we will not cover in depth.
Donald Clayton Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis ~$30 Outstanding book - a classic of the field -  but to some extent outdated. Focus on stellar nucleosynthesis. In depth discussion of stellar physics (which we will mostly not cover). A "must have" if you think you will work in nuclear astrophysics.
Claus E. Rolfs and W.S. Rodney Cauldrons in the Cosmos ~$40 Also a classic - the only book available right now that covers experimental nuclear astrophysics aspects (mainly low energy stable beam experiments) together with astrophysics. Focus on nuclear physics of reaction rates and hydrogen/helium burning. Great book, used to be a must have for anybody working in the field. However, the Iliadis book has a similar scope and is more up to date - but not yet available.

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