Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 April 2014
The first edition of this book was published more than a quarter century ago, and at the time of writing this it has long been out of print and is also out of date.
In 2007 I decided to up-date it with this second edition. The main purpose was to bring the story of stellar spectroscopy forwards from about 1970, the closing date for material in the first edition, to about 2000. A secondary aim was to correct a number of typographical and factual errors that had crept into the first edition. The first edition manuscript was mainly handwritten and typed by a secretary prior to submission in the days before computers were widespread for text formatting. On the other hand, this second edition was prepared using LaTeX which has (I hope) permitted amuch lower error rate. I entered the entire manuscript at a keyboard myself, so I am solely responsible if any typographical errors remain.
Since 1970 there has been a huge advance in all fields of astronomy, especially in stellar astrophysics and spectroscopy. In fact, about as many papers on stellar spectroscopy have been published in the research literature in the last three decades of the twentieth century as in all the time before 1970. During these last few decades since the publication of the first edition, many discoveries were made using stellar spectroscopy, and there were also important instrumental advances in spectrograph design.