Astrophysical Jets and Beams


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Astrophysical jets are spectacular displays of gas or dust ejected from a range of cosmic bodies; they are seemingly ubiquitous on scales from comets to black holes. This volume reviews our understanding of jet processes and provides a modern guide to their observation and the role they play in many long-standing problems in astrophysics. It covers the major discoveries in gamma-ray bursts, solar and stellar jets and cometary jets. Specific physical processes for all classes of jet are illustrated and discussed in depth, as a backdrop to explaining spectacular jet images. Current jet models raise as many issues as they solve, so the final chapter looks at the new questions to be answered. Written at an entry level for postgraduate students, this volume incorporates introductions to all the governing physics, providing a comprehensive and insightful guide to the study of jets for researchers across all branches of astrophysics.


Michael D. SmithUniversity of Kent, Canterbury
Professor Michael Smith was awarded his Ph.D. in astrophysics by the University of Oxford in 1979. He is now the Director of Research for SEPnet (South-East Physics Network) and holds the posts of Director of Graduate Studies and Sub-Dean in the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Kent. He is a member of the International Astronomical Union and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Detection and measurement
3. The dynamical toolbox
4. Observations of extragalactic jets
5. Jets in galactic nuclei
6. Jets from young stars and protostars
7. Jets associated with evolved stars
8. Jets within the solar system
9. Jet launching
10. Jet propagation
11. New questions


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