Class Schedule:

Reading assignments refer to the 2004 edition of the textbook by Rybicki & Lightman. Reading assignments are to be completed before class.

  • Tue Sep 27: Specific intensity and its moments, radiative transfer equation, emission and absorption coefficients
  • read R&L 1.1-1.4

  • Thu Sep 29: Optical depth, thermal radiation, Kirchhoff's law, Planck law, brightness temperature
  • read R&L 1.5

  • Tue Oct 4: Einstein coefficients, scattering, diffusion
  • read R&L 1.6-1.8
    Problem Set 1 due

  • Thu Oct 6: Radiation fields, dipole moment
  • read R&L 2.1-2.2, 2.5, 3.1-3.3

  • Tue Oct 11: Thomson scattering, radiation spectrum
  • read R&L 3.4, 2.3, 3.5-3.6
    Problem Set 2 due

  • Thu Oct 13: Bremsstrahlung
  • read R&L 5.1-5.4

  • Tue Oct 18: Cyclotron and synchrotron radiation
  • read R&L 6.1
    Problem Set 3 due

  • Thu Oct 20: Synchrotron radiation
  • read R&L 6.2-6.4

  • Mon Oct 24 2:00 pm: Note the unusual time! Synchrotron radiation
  • read R&L 6.6, 6.8

  • Thu Oct 27 and Fri Oct 28: Midterms: sign up
  • Tue Nov 1: Compton, inverse Compton
  • read R&L 7.1-7.2, 7.4
    Problem Set 4 due to Yuguang at 10:00 am

  • Thu Nov 3: Inverse Compton, atomic transitions
  • read R&L 7.5-7.6, 9.1

  • Tue Nov 8: Atomic transitions
  • read R&L 9.2-9.4
    Problem Set 5 due

  • Thu Nov 10: (Hyper)fine structure
  • read R&L 9.5, 10.1-10.2

  • Tue Nov 15: Oscillator strengths, selection rules, transition rates
  • read R&L 10.3-10.5

  • Thu Nov 17: Line broadening, molecular transitions
  • read R&L 10.6, 11.1-11.2
    Problem Set 6 due

  • Mon Nov 21 2:00 pm: Note the unusual time! Molecular transitions
  • read R&L 11.4-11.5

  • Tue Nov 22 1:10 pm: Note the unusual time! Plasma emission processes. Guest lecturer: Gregg Hallinan
  • read R&L 8.1-8.3

  • Thu Nov 24: Thanksgiving; no class
  • Tue Nov 29: no class; Problem Set 7 due
  • Thu Dec 1: no class
  • Fri Dec 2: Problem Set 8 due
  • Mon Dec 5: Final exams distributed
  • Thu Dec 8 1:00 pm: Applying the theory of radiative transitions to current Caltech research on stellar compositions
  • Fri Dec 9: Final exams due at 5:00 pm