From the Back Cover
The book presents and discusses in depth a wide range of theoretical tools to decode the information gathered from photometric and spectroscopic observations of old stellar populations. These systems are the fossil record of galaxy formation and early evolution, and provide invaluable insights into the development of cosmic structures and the universe as a whole. The book starts with a detailed and up–to–date treatment of the evolution of low–mass stars, followed by a comprehensive discussion of a broad range of techniques to determine ages and initial chemical compositions – and more in general star formation histories – of resolved and unresolved old stellar systems. An extensive list of references is provided, together with examples of recent advances in our knowledge of the evolution of old stellar populations. A particularly representative case is the recent discovery of multiple stellar populations in Galactic globular clusters – one of the hottest topics in stellar and Galactic astrophysics – that is discussed in detail.
About the Author
Santi Cassisi received his degree in physics from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 1991. He then spent a year at the Astronomical Observatory of Meudon–Paris, France, followed by a PhD–fellowship at the University of L′Aquila, Italy, from 1995 to 1997. In 1998, he accepted a post as staff researcher at the Collurania–Teramo–Observatory, a research unit of INAF. He currently holds a position as associate professor at the same institution. Professor Cassisi′s research focuses on theoretical stellar evolution and its application to the study of both galactic and extra–galactic stellar populations. He has authored about 210 scientific papers, 115 of them in peer–reviewed journals, and a monograph. Maurizio Salaris studied physics at the University of Rome ′La Sapienza′, and then worked at the Collurania–Teramo–Observatory, Italy, the Institut d′Estudis Espacials de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, and the Astrophysics Research Institute of the Liverpool John Moores University, UK, where he currently holds the post of Professor of Stellar Astrophysics. He has published about 150 papers in peer–reviewed journals and books, plus a monograph, co–authored by Santi Cassisi. Professor Salaris′s scientific work focuses on theoretical stellar evolution, stellar population synthesis models, and the interpretation of photometric and spectroscopic observations of Galactic and extragalactic stellar populations.