Life and Death of the Stars

  • Ganesan Srinivasan

Part of the Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics book series (ULNP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. A Historical Perspective

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Ganesan Srinivasan
      Pages 3-13
    3. Ganesan Srinivasan
      Pages 15-23
    4. Ganesan Srinivasan
      Pages 25-32
    5. Ganesan Srinivasan
      Pages 33-53
    6. Ganesan Srinivasan
      Pages 55-66
    7. Ganesan Srinivasan
      Pages 67-78
    8. Ganesan Srinivasan
      Pages 79-94
    9. Ganesan Srinivasan
      Pages 101-107
    10. Ganesan Srinivasan
      Pages 109-128
    11. Back Matter
      Pages 129-136
  3. The Life History of Stars: A Modern Perspective

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 137-137
    2. Ganesan Srinivasan
      Pages 139-155
    3. Ganesan Srinivasan
      Pages 157-170
    4. Ganesan Srinivasan
      Pages 171-183
    5. Ganesan Srinivasan
      Pages 185-195
    6. Ganesan Srinivasan
      Pages 197-216
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 217-225

About this book


This volume is devoted to one of the fascinating things about stars: how they evolve as they age. This evolution is different for stars of different masses. How stars end their lives when their supply of energy is exhausted also depends on their masses. Interestingly, astronomers conjectured about the ultimate fate of the stars even before the details of their evolution became clear. Part I of this book gives an account of the remarkable predictions made during the 1920s and 1930s concerning the ultimate fate of stars. Since much of this development hinged on quantum physics that emerged during this time, a detailed introduction to the relevant physics is included in the book. Part II is a summary of the life history of stars. This discussion is divided into three parts: low-mass stars, like our Sun, intermediate-mass stars, and massive stars. Many of the concepts of contemporary astrophysics were built on the foundation erected by Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar in the 1930s. This book, written during his birth centenary, includes a brief biographical sketch of the brilliant scientist, which readers will find fascinating.

Reading this book will get young students excited about the presently unfolding revolution in astronomy and the challenges that await them in the world of physics, engineering and technology. General readers will also find the book appealing for its highly accessible narrative of the physics of stars.  

This book is a companion volume of “What are the Stars?” by the same author.

"I know of no other book on the evolution of stars of a similar scope and breadth that is so accessible for undergraduate students."

E P J van den Heuvel
Professor of Astrophysics

Winner of the Spinoza and Descartes PrizesUniversity of Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Black Holes Chandrasekhar Limit Death of Stars Nature of Stars Neutron Stars Quantum Physics Stellar Astrophysics for Undergraduates White Dwarfs

Authors and affiliations

  • Ganesan Srinivasan
    • 1
  1. 1.BangaloreIndia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-45383-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-45384-7
  • Series Print ISSN 2192-4791
  • Series Online ISSN 2192-4805
  • Buy this book on publisher's site