Syllabus for ASTR/PHYS 536-001 Advanced Astrophysics I
Instructor: Dinesh Loomba
This class is a 3-credit graduate course.
Meeting times: The class
will meet on M,W from 9:30-10:45 in room 5 of the PandA building.
Office Hours: by
Book(s): None required but below
is an (abbreviated) list of books which may be useful to you:
- Bowers and Deeming 1984, "Astrophysics I
and II" (2 volumes)
- Clayton, D. 1983,
"Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis"
- Binney, J. and
Merrifield, M. 1998, "Galactic astronomy"
- Hansen, C.J. and
Cawaler, S.D. 1994, "Stellar interiors: physical principles, structure,
- Kippenhahn, R. and Weigert, A. 1998, "Stellar Structure and
- Chandrasekhar, S. "An introduction to the study of stellar
- Chandrasekhar, S. "Radiative Transfer"
- Rybicki, G.B. and Lightman, A.P. 1979, "Radiative processes in
- Schwarzschild, M. 1958, "Structure and evolution of the stars"
- Shu, F.H., "The physics of astrophysics: Gas dynamics (Vol.
- Binney, J. and Tremain, S. 1987, "Galactic Dynamics"
- Duric, N. 2003, "Advanced Astrophysics"
- Padmanabhan, T, "Theoretical Astrophysics I, II, II", a 3 volume set
As you can see, there are a lot of books in
Astrophysics! My initial intent was
to follow a given book. It would
have made everyone's life easier, however, I could not find one book that stood
out. The books by Padmanabhan are
the most recent and beautifully written, but highly theoretical. Other books on
the list are fairly specialized to specific topics (e.g. radiative
transfer). Some books on the list
are quite old but are included because they are classics. I will refer to sections of books (or
reviews) that form the basis of my lectures so that you may go to the source. Additionally I have access to lecture
notes in Astrophysics from various colleagues at other institutions. I will reference them when I use them.
Students: A solid foundation of
undergraduate Statistical Physics, Thermodynamics, E&M, Quantum Mechanics,
Preliminary outline of the course:
Astrophysics I (536) will largely cover
topics on the subject of stellar astrophysics. Here is an approximate list that I hope
to cover in chronological order:
- Introduction to stellar systems
- Protostar formation
- Models of stellar structure and basic theory of stellar
- Thermonuclear reactions & nuclei generation
- Stellar main sequence models
- Post-main sequence evolution
- Final stages of stellar systems (white dwarfs, supernovae,
neutron stars, pulsars, black holes)
- Nucleosynthesis (details of nuclei production in various stages
of stellar evolution)
As noted above, this is a rough list of
topics. It is also a rather long
list and we may not cover all this material during the semester.
- Homeworks 50%. There will be assignments roughly every
- Midterm ~20%
- Final Project 25% (A final project involving a term paper
and, depending on time and number of students enrolled in the course, I may
devote several lectures to short talks given by students on their final paper
topic. I will discuss the project
in more detail once the course begins.)
Besides these official contributions to
your grade the following will help you but not hurt you:
- During class I may suggest a problem for
- Oftentimes questions will be raised
during class-time that won't be answered to everyone's satisfaction. Students who, by whatever means, return
with additional information that sheds light on the subject will be duly
- Students are strongly encouraged to ask
questions, express skepticism, start discussions, and in general actively
participate in the course. If
there is a single motto to follow in this course, it is that there are no
"dumb" questions! If you
don't ask, you won't learn so please don't be shy.
Handouts from lecture: Figures1
More handouts from lecture: Figures2
HW1 due Monday 8/31 in class HW1solution
HW2 due Wednesday 9/9 HW2solution
HW3 due Friday 9/18 in my mailbox HW3solution
HW4 due Friday 9/25 in my mailbox
HW5 due Monday 10/26 in class
HW6 due Monday 11/16 in class