The course “Physics of the Interstellar Medium” covers the basic physical processes that regulate the state of diffuse gas in, around and between galaxies. Therefore, we will extend our attention also the intergalactic medium, since this is a very vital research area in modern astrophysics.
Topics covered include the chemical composition and the phases of the interstellar medium, the equilibrium of gaseous nebulae, the formation of the emission and absorption lines, the properties of the interstellar dust, the molecular gas and the process of star formation, supernova explosions, galactic superwinds.
We will also discuss the observational techniques that allow us to investigate the physics of the interstellar and intergalactic media. In particular, we will address the formation of emission and absorption spectral lines (at UV, optical and infrared wavelengths).
The goal is to develop the background required to understand current research on the interplay between star formation and cosmic gas. Some lectures will be dedicated to the discussion of recent papers, assigned as complementary readings.
Giovanni Covone (born on July 30th, 1969) is Assistant Professor at the Physics Department of the University of Naples “Federico II” since 2007.
He obtained his PhD in 2001 with a thesis on the cosmological applications of gravitational lensing, under the supervision of the prof. R. de Ritis and prof. M. Capaccioli. He has been working as support astronomer at the National Telescope Galileo (2001-2003) and then postdoc researcher at the CNRS – Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (2003- 2005). From July 2006 to October 2007 he has been postdoc researcher at the Capodimonte Observatory (Italy), supported by an European Reintegration Grant (CORDIS). His research activity focuses on the evolution of galaxies and the study of properties of dark matter in galaxies and clusters of galaxies. As of 2011, he has published 30 papers on these topics. He is a member of the Internationall Astronomical Union. He is also deeply interested in the divulgation of astronomy and, more in general, to the promotion of scientific culture. He has been teaching History of Astronomy at University of Naples in last 3 years.