This page gives links that are useful for the students in ASPH503, the Interstellar Medium course here at U of Calgary.
Below are links to PDF forms of my class notes; the PDF conversion is not always 100% correct for some reason that I have not been able to determine. However I think the files can be printed if desired.
PDF (portable document format) is from Adobe Systems, and the Adobe Acrobat reader is needed to view them.
The notes more or less replace a textbook, since the field is moving so rapidly and all the available textbooks that I know of are out of date. I have much more emphasis on molecular cloud properties and star formation than is normal in ISM textbooks, since these areas are two of the currently most active aspects of ISM research. The same is true of extragalactic ISM research, but there I was only able to put in a small amount of material mostly for comparison with the situation in the Galaxy.
One thing that I could not make for the notes was a copy of the Columbia CO map of the Galaxy by Dame et al. This is refered to in the notes and there are some filler pages where I photocopied the original large-scale map from T. M. Dame et al. (1987; ApJ, 322, 706-720). A nice colour poster of this map is available from Dr. Dame. Some WWW images from the poster are found at this link
These notes are free for the downloading, but I stress that they are by no means perfect or even polished. Some parts of them may reflect my ignorance rather than my knowledge. It was educational for me to put the notes together; things have changed a lot since I took this sort of course in 1981.
Including the table of contents, the notes run to almost 300 pages.
The following are the various sections of my notes.
Table of Contents
Dust in the ISM
Giant Molecular Clouds
The Figures from the notes are available at this link. These are a set of GIF or JPEG figures, many from the Astronomy Picture of the Day site. Most of these figures are taken right off the network, and can be found at the APOD site above or in such things as the NOAO WWW pages. Some of the figures are taken from research papers, in which case the references to the sources are given in the notes. They are not always given in the WWW page above. Not all of the figures are in the notes. The link page also has other figures more recent than those that I used in writing the notes over the summer and fall of 1999. While two or three of these were put into the notes as the course went on, most are just "free-floating" figures that are of interest.
Some examples of molecular spectra taken at JCMT can be found at this link which uses standard spectra from JCMT. A few sources have been observed in various different molecular lines. You can choose the spectrum to look at by number. This data is taken from the JCMT WWW pages.
I found a small numerical error on page 12 of the notes; the Stromgren radius value quoted is for an ionizing photon flux of 5e48 per second, and the notes have the flux as 4e48 per second. There are bound to be other errors in the text that have not been corrected.
This page was last modified on September 18, 2002.
Kevin Volk (firstname.lastname@example.org)