© 2014

Life and Death of the Stars


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

  1. 1.BangaloreIndia

About the authors

Dr. G. Srinivasan began his career as a solid state physicist and later switched to astrophysics. After his PhD at the University of Chicago, he worked at the IBM Research Laboratory, Zurich, Switzerland, Chalmers University of Technology, Goteborg, Sweden, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge and Raman Research Institute, Bangalore. He is a Past President of the Astronomical Society of India as well as the Division of Space and High Energy Astrophysics of the International Astronomical Union. He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences and a former Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Life and Death of the Stars
  • Authors Ganesan Srinivasan
  • Series Title Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics
  • Series Abbreviated Title Undergraduate Lect. Notes Physics
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy Physics and Astronomy (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-642-45383-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-642-45384-7
  • Series ISSN 2192-4791
  • Series E-ISSN 2192-4805
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVII, 225
  • Number of Illustrations 113 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Additional Information Original hardcover edition published by Universities Press (India) Private Ltd., Himayatnagar, 2011
  • Topics Astrophysics and Astroparticles
    Astronomy, Observations and Techniques
  • Buy this book on publisher's site