Physics and Chemistry of the Solar System


  • John Lewis, University of Arizona, Tucson, U.S.A.

Physics and Chemistry of the Solar System, 2nd Edition, is a comprehensive survey of the planetary physics and physical chemistry of our own solar system. It covers current research in these areas and the planetary sciences that have benefited from both earth-based and spacecraft-based experimentation. These experiments form the basis of this encyclopedic reference, which skillfully fuses synthesis and explanation. Detailed chapters review each of the major planetary bodies as well as asteroids, comets, and other small orbitals. Astronomers, physicists, and planetary scientists can use this state-of-the-art book for both research and teaching. This Second Edition features extensive new material, including expanded treatment of new meteorite classes, spacecraft findings from Mars Pathfinder through Mars Odyssey 2001, recent reflections on brown dwarfs, and descriptions of planned NASA, ESA, and Japanese planetary missions.
View full description


Advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students, and students in astronomy, astrophysics and planetary science courses with background in mathematics, physics and chemistry. Should also appeal to more advanced graduate students and faculty who need a thorough synthesis of the topic.


Book information

  • Published: February 2004
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-446744-6


Praise for the previous edition: "John Lewis has pulled together an incredible compendium of knowledge of the planetary sciences serving the needs of both students and practicing scientists..." - ICARUS "...the best study of the subject I have ever read...complete, well written, with a style that is both lively and elegant." - PHYSICS WORLD "...a very comprehensive summary of the results of research in this field. There are many diagrams and photographs used for illustration that make it easy to understand." - REVIEWS OF ASTRONOMICAL TOOLS "...I am sure that every serious university library will be required to obtain a copy." - METEORITES AND PLANETARY SCIENCE

Table of Contents

IntroductionAstronomical PerspectiveGeneral Description of the Solar SystemThe Sun and the Solar NebulaThe Major PlanetsPluto and the Icy Satellites of the Outer Planets Comets and MeteorsMeteorites and AsteroidsThe Airless Rocky BodiesThe Terrestrial Planets: Mars, Venus, and EarthPlanets and Life about Other StarsFuture ProspectsAppendix III