Fundamentals of Radio Astronomy : Observational Methods and Astrophysics - Two Volume Set book cover
1st Edition

Fundamentals of Radio Astronomy
Observational Methods and Astrophysics - Two Volume Set

ISBN 9781498725811
Published May 17, 2019 by CRC Press
700 Pages 4 Color & 300 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

As demonstrated by five Nobel Prizes in physics, radio astronomy has contributed greatly to our understanding of the Universe. Yet for too long, there has been no comprehensive textbook on radio astronomy for undergraduate students.

This two-volume set of introductory textbooks is exclusively devoted to radio astronomy, with extensive discussions of telescopes, observation methods, and astrophysical processes that are relevant for this exciting field.

The first volume, Fundamentals of Radio Astronomy: Observational Methods, discusses radio astronomy instrumentation and the techniques to conduct successful observations. The second volume, Fundamentals of Radio Astronomy: Astrophysics, discusses the physical processes that give rise to radio emission, presents examples of astronomical objects that emit by these mechanisms, and illustrates how the relevant physical parameters of astronomical sources can be obtained from the radio observations.

Requiring no prior knowledge of astronomy, the two volumes are ideal textbooks for radio astronomy courses at the undergraduate or graduate level, particularly those that emphasize radio wavelength instrumentation and observational techniques or the astrophysics of radio sources. The set enables instructors to pick and choose topics from the two volumes that best fit their courses.


  • Explores radio astronomy instruments and techniques that are important to enable observations
  • Describes astrophysical processes that produce the radio emissions observed in different types of astronomical objects
  • Includes numerous worked examples to demonstrate how the methods are used to solve problems, in addition to advanced material for students with more extensive physics and mathematics backgrounds

Table of Contents

Observational Methods and Astrophysics - Two Volume Set

Volumen One: Observational Methods

Chapter 1. Introductory Material

Chapter 2. Introduction to Radiation Physics

Chapter 3. Radio Telescopes

Chapter 4. Single-Dish Radio Telescope Observations

Chapter 5. Aperture Synthesis Basics: Two-Element Interferometers

Chapter 6. Aperture Synthesis: Advanced Discussion


Volume Two: Astrophysics

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


Questions and Problems appear at the end of each chapter.


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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.

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.


"Since the detection of HI at 21 cm wavelength and the discovery of CO in dark clouds, radio astronomy has been a central tool in studies of the interstellar medium and star forming clouds. This has been even more true with the advent of cm and mm interferometers, and the more recent availability of the EVLA and ALMA has transformed the study of circumstellar disks and of outflows. This two-volume set of introductory textbooks provide the essential foundation for students who plan to use radio observations in the study of molecular clouds, HII regions, and star formation. While one volume focuses on the instrumentation, telescopes, and observing methods of radio astronomy, the other deals with the astrophysical processes that give rise to radio emission. All three authors have taught radio astronomy courses, and the books are organized with questions and problems after each chapter. The books are also equipped with extensive appendices with supporting material that focus on background and technical information."

The Star Formation Newsletter No 323, November 2019

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