Intended for beginning graduate students and senior undergraduates with a solid background in physics, this book illustrates the intricate interplay between the microscopic physical processes and the stars’ macroscopic responses. It examines the gravitationally contracting phase which carries the star from formation to the core hydrogen-burning main sequence, through the main sequence phase, through shell hydrogen-burning phases as a red giant, up to the onset of core helium burning. Particular emphasis is placed on describing the gravothermal responses of stars to nuclear transformations in the interior and energy loss from the surface, responses which express the very essence of stellar evolution. The volume is replete with many illustrations and detailed numerical solutions to prepare the reader to program and calculate evolutionary models.
Models of low and intermediate mass are evolved through the core helium-burning phase, the asymptotic giant branch phase (alternating shell hydrogen and helium burning), and through the final cooling white dwarf phase. A massive model is carried from the core helium-burning phase through core and shell carbon-burning phases. Gravothermal responses to nuclear reaction-induced transformations and energy loss from the surface are described in detail. Written for senior graduate students and researchers who have mastered the principles of stellar evolution, as developed in the first volume of Stellar Evolution Physics, sufficient attention is paid to how numerical solutions are obtained to enable the reader to engage in model construction on a professional level.