Fundamentals of Radio Astronomy: Astrophysics, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Fundamentals of Radio Astronomy

Astrophysics, 1st Edition

By Ronald L. Snell, Stanley Kurtz, Jonathan Marr

CRC Press

346 pages | 13 Color Illus. | 124 B/W Illus.

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As demonstrated by five Nobel Prizes in physics, radio astronomy has contributed greatly to our understanding of the Universe. Courses covering this subject are, therefore, very important in the education of the next generation of scientists who will continue to explore the Cosmos.

This textbook, the second of two volumes, presents an extensive introduction to the astrophysical processes that are studied in radio astronomy. Suitable for undergraduate courses on radio astronomy, it discusses the physical phenomena that give rise to radio emissions, presenting examples of astronomical objects, and illustrating how the relevant physical parameters of astronomical sources can be obtained from radio observations.

Unlike other radio astronomy textbooks, this book provides students with an understanding of the background and the underlying principles, with derivations available for most of the equations used in the textbook.


  • Presents a clear and concise discussion of the important astronomical concepts and physical processes that give rise to both radio continuum and radio spectral line emission
  • Discusses radio emissions from a variety of astronomical sources and shows how the observed emissions can be used to derive the physical properties of these sources
  • Includes numerous examples using actual data from the literature

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Propagation of Radiation

Chapter 3. Continuum Emission Processes

Chapter 4. Spectral Lines

Chapter 5. The Cold Interstellar Medium of the Milky Way

Chapter 6. HII Regions and Planetary Nebulae at Radio Wavelengths

Chapter 7. Radio Emission from Stellar Objects

Chapter 8. Galaxies at Radio Wavelengths

Chapter 9. Radio Galaxies and Quasars

Chapter 10. Cosmic Microwave Background

About the Authors

Ronald L. Snell is a professor of astronomy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research interests include the physical and chemical properties of molecular clouds, star formation, and molecular outflows; he also has extensive experience observing at radio wavelengths. He earned a PhD in astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin.

Stanley E. Kurtz is a professor of radio astronomy and astrophysics at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. His research interests include massive star formation, the interstellar medium, and radio astronomy instrumentation and techniques. He earned a PhD in physics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Jonathan M. Marr is a senior lecturer of physics and astronomy at Union College. His research involves high-resolution, radio-wavelength observations of radio galaxies and the Galactic center. He earned a PhD in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley.

About the Series

Series in Astronomy and Astrophysics

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Astrophysics & Space Science
SCIENCE / Physics