Stars & Stellar Systems
As the principal sources of light, energy and chemical enrichment, stars are rightfully regarded as the fundamental building blocks of galaxies. However, a star is so much more than a mere cosmological component. It is a phenomenon where all of the branches of physics – atomic, nuclear, particle, thermodynamic, hydrodynamic, gravitational, electromagnetic – come together to produce a singular object which passes through the same cycle of birth, youth, old age and death, as do living organisms. Individually, and in associations ranging from binary systems up to open clusters, stars have much to teach us about fundamental physics.