The Physics of Fluids and Plasmas

The Physics of Fluids and Plasmas : An Introduction for Astrophysicists

3.88 (9 ratings by Goodreads)
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A good working knowledge of fluid mechanics and plasma physics is essential for the modern astrophysicist. This graduate textbook provides a clear, pedagogical introduction to these core subjects. Assuming an undergraduate background in physics, this book develops fluid mechanics and plasma physics from first principles. This book is unique because it presents neutral fluids and plasmas in a unified scheme, clearly indicating both their similarities and their differences. Also, both the macroscopic (continuum) and microscopic (particle) theories are developed, establishing the connections between them. Throughout, key examples from astrophysics are used, though no previous knowledge of astronomy is assumed. Exercises are included at the end of chapters to test the reader's understanding. This textbook is aimed primarily at astrophysics graduate students. It will also be of interest to advanced students in physics and applied mathematics seeking a unified view of fluid mechanics and plasma physics, encompassing both the microscopic and macroscopic theories.
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Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 90 b/w illus. 2 tables 68 exercises
  • 1139171062
  • 9781139171069

Review quote

'I'd not hesitate to recommend [this] book to anybody with an interest in fluids or plasmas ... superbly written ... [an] original textbook which should quickly become a bestseller.' Uriel Frisch, CNRS, Observatoire de Nice '[This] book provides a comprehensive introduction both to fluid dynamics and to plasma physics, with many astrophysical examples. Here at last is an excellent textbook for a theoretical course, at graduate level, in plasma astrophysics.' Nigel O. Weiss, FRS, University of Cambridge 'The text is unique in combining the essential formal calculations with the simple physical concepts to give the reader an intuitive grasp of the dynamical phenomena of the active astonomical universe ... The new student, as well as the experienced research worker, will find this textbook useful and instructive.' Eugene Parker, University of Chicago '... it is rare to find a textbook that is such a pleasure to read.' S. M. Tobias, Journal of Fluid Mechanics 'This is a delightful book, largely because of the author's evident enthusiasm for the subject. It is a pleasure to find such potentially messy subjects as plasma physics and hydrodynamics presented as a unified whole with the grand themes well brought out. The text is strong on physical insight and clarity of exposition ... this is an excellent book ... A copy should be available on the bookshelves of every astrophysics research group.' A. R. Bell, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College 'This is an excellent book. The author has that rare gift of being able to make a complex subject seem not only straightforward but also fascinating ... an absolute bargain at the price.' Moira Jardine, The Observatory 'I enjoyed reading this book, and found the author's viewpoints fresh and interesting. He manages to entertain the reader and succeeds in conveying the essentials of the subject simultaneously. It is a rare textbook that is as well written and presented as this.' Current Science 'The book is well written, covering quite a large number of topics in a clear and pleasant style which makes enjoyable reading ... The student who reads this book will successfully gain a very good understanding of many, often referred to, astrophysical topics.' R. M. Kulsrud, Nuclear Fusion
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Table of contents

Introduction; Part I. Neutral Fluids: 2. Boltzmann equation; 3. March towards hydrodynamics; 4. Properties of ideal fluids; 5. Viscous flows; 6. Gas dynamics; 7. Linear theory of waves and instabilities; 8. Turbulence; 9. Rotation and hydrodynamics; Part II. Plasmas: 10. Plasma orbit theory; 11. Dynamics of many charged particles; 12. Collisionless processes in plasmas; 13. Collisional processes and the one-fluid model; 14. Basic magnetohydrodynamics; 15. Theory of magnetic topologies; 16. Dynamo theory; Appendices: A. Useful vector relations; B. Integrals in kinetic theory; C. Formulae and equations in cylindrical and spherical coordinates; D. Values of various quantities; E. Basic parameters pertaining to plasmas; Suggestions for further reading; References.
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Rating details

9 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 33% (3)
4 22% (2)
3 44% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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