Syllabus for Ay101, Fall 2013

Suggested readings are in parentheses, with abbreviations de-coded at the bottom.

Boldface indicates readings from the main course text. You should definitely do these.
The other references are optional but useful for added insight.

Part I: Overview
Week 1: (Sep 30 - Oct 4 )
1. Observed and Inferred Properties of Stars (LB:1.1-1.4,1.6; V3:1; G:1 p1-10)
2. The HR Diagram; Evolution of Stars on Myr to Gyr Time Scales (LB:1.7; HKT:2)

Part II: Star Formation

3. Hydrostatic Equilibrium; The Virial Theorem (LB:2.1-2.3; V3:2; HKT:1.2-1.3)
Week 2: (Oct 7--11)
4. More Physical Principles; Conditions for Star Formation (V3:20)
5. Jeans Mass, Free-Fall Collapse, Pre-Main Sequence (LB:2.4-2.6)

Part III: Stellar Atmospheres

6. Radiative Transfer Terminology (LB:3.1-3.3; V2:4,5; HKT:4.1; G:5; M:1-2)
Week 3: (Oct 14--18)
Lynne away on Monday/Tuesday - need to schedule a make-up class
7. Eq. of Radiative Transfer; Plane Parallel Atmosphere (LB:3.4; G:7 p127-136) )
8. Atomic Excitation / Ionization; LTE (LB:1.5,3.5-3.6; V2:7.2-3; HKT:3.3-3.4)
9. Blackbody Radiation; Einstein Coefficients (V2:3; HKT:3.2; G:6; M:5)
Week 4: (Oct 21--25)
10. Continuous Opacity Sources (V2:7; HKT:4.4,4.6; G:8; M:4)
11. Grey Atmosphere; Radiative Equilibrium (LB:4.1-4.2; V2:6; M:3; G:7 p136-141, HKT 4.1)
12. Non-Grey Atmospheres; Eddington Approx (LB:3.7-3.8; V2:3; HKT:3.2; G:6; M:5)
Week 5: (Oct 28-- Nov 1)
13. Rosseland Mean Opacity; Schwarzschild-Milne Relation (LB:3.9-3.12)
14. Line Opacity; Line Broadening Mechanisms (LB:4.3; V2:10.2-10.6,11; HKT:4.8.1-4.8.2; G:11(skim); M:8-9)
15. Equivalent Width and Curve of Growth (LB:4.4; V2:10.7; G:13(skim))
XX. Model Stellar Atmospheres (LB:4.5; V2:8,9; HKT:4.2-4.3; G:9; M:7)
XX. Spectral Line Radiative Transfer (V2:10.8-10.9; HKT:4.8.3; G:13(skim)
XX. Spectral Lines as Diagnostics of Abundance, Gravity, Rotation (V2:12; G:15 p372-380; G:16; G:17 up to p.378; G:18 up to p. 411)
XX. Chromospheres, Coronae, Stellar Winds (V2:15-16)


Part IV: Stellar Interiors

Week 6: (Nov 4--8)
Lynne away on Monday/Tuesday - need to schedule a make-up class

16. The Equations of Stellar Structure (LB:5.1-5.2; V3:2; HKT:1.1,1.4)
17. Conductive and Radiative Energy Transport (LB:5.3 V3:3; HKT:4.5, 4.1-3)
18. Convective Energy Transport (LB:5.3 V3:4,5; HKT:5; G:7 p141-144)
Week 7: (Oct 11--15)
19. Thermal Physics, Equations of State (LB:5.6 G:1 p10-18, HKT:3.1,3,7)
20. Mixing Length; Convective Zone Depth (LB:5.3 V3:6,7; HKT:5; G:7 p144-145)
21. Numerical Solutions to Stellar Structure Equations ( V3:9,12,13; HKT:7.3)
Week 8: (Nov 18--22)
22. Polytropic Solutions to Stellar Structure Equations (LB:5.4-5.5 HKT:7.1-2)
23. Main Sequence Homology Relations (LB: ?? V3:10; HKT:1.6)
24. Nuclear Reactions and Fusion in Stars (LB:6.1-4,6.13 V3:8; HKT:1.5)

Part V: Stellar Nucleosynthesis and Evolution

Week 9: (Nov 25 -- Nov 29) -- note that we have a short week due to thanksgiving holiday
25. Main Sequence Hydrogen Burning (LB:6.5 V3:8.1-8.5, 13; HKT:6.1-5)
26. Helium Burning (LB:6.6 ; V3:11; HKT:9)
Week 10: (Dec 2--6)
27. Post-Main Sequence for Low Mass Stars ==> White Dwarfs; Degeneracy (LB:6.8,6.10 V3:14,16; HKT:3.5-3.6,10)
28. Post-Main Sequence for Massive Stars ==> Supernovae (LB:6.7-6.8,6.11-6.12 V3:8.6-9,15; HKT:6.6-8)
29. Helium to Carbon to Si Burning, r & s -processes
XX. Application of Polytropes Across the HR Diagram; rho-T Revisited
XX. Stellar Pulsation; Asteroseismology (LB:5.7)
Week 11: (Dec 9--13)
Final Examination Period
  • LB: LeBlanc, An Introduction to Stellar Astrophysics, 2010 **Ay 101 text**
  • V2: Bohm-Vitense, Stellar Astrophys v2: Stellar Atmospheres, 1989
  • V3: Bohm-Vitense, Stellar Astrophys v3: Stellar Structure... 1989
  • HKT: Hansen, Kawaler, & Trimble Stellar Interiors, 1994, 2004 (chapters above are 2nd ed.)
  • G: Gray, The Observation and Analysis of Stellar Photospheres, 1976/1992/2005, (chapters above are 3rd ed.)
  • M: Mihalas, Stellar Atmospheres, 1970/1978. (chapters above are 2nd ed.)

    last updated 2013, September 30