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Opacity pp 1-7 | Cite as

Introduction

Chapter
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 402)

Abstract

Interaction of radiation with matter has been a pervasive causal phenomenon in the universe since the “Big Bang.” It unites physics and astronomy and has led to major discoveries in astrophysics. Opacity is a property of matter that determines its resistance to the transmission of radiation (or, more comprehensively, its resistance to energy transport by photons and elementary particles). It plays an important role in the formation, evolution, and structure of stars. For example, photon opacity provides the dominant obstacle to energy transport during star formation in the inner, opaque region of an accretion disk and later during nuclear burning of hydrogen and helium in the core of the star. Thus, opacity regulates the evolution of the universe since its creation. For this reason the principal investigators of opacities have been astrophysicists.

Keywords

Star Formation Accretion Disk Stellar Structure Fine Structure Splitting Nuclear Burning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) Space Science & Engineering DivisionSan AntonioUSA
  2. 2.TucsonUSA

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