Recent discoveries of extrasolar planets and new direct evidence for protoplanetary disks around young stars have had a major impact on our understanding of star and planet formation. This volume provides a thorough, up-to-date, and concise overview of the physical processes involved in the formation of stars and their surrounding disks. The book traces the story of star formation from the fragmentation of cold molecular gas clouds, through the formation of protostars and rotating dusty disks to the subsequent accretion of material onto the central star. Lee Hartmann integrates state-of-the-art theoretical models with recent observations, highlighting important problems that remain to be solved.
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