Module Identifier PH28010  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Nicholas Mitchell  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Dr Andrew Breen, Professor Shadia Habbal  
Pre-Requisite Part 1 core modules  
Course delivery Lecture   20 lectures  
Assessment Course work   Example Sheets Example Sheets 1,2,5,6,7 & 10 Deadlines are detailed in the Year 2 Example Sheet Schedule distributed by the Department   30%  
  Exam   2 Hours End of semester examinations   70%  

Module description

This module considers the physics of stars and galaxies. Starting with a review of celestial co-ordinate systems, the stellar radiation laws and the various star classification schemes used in astronomy, the module describes the methods used to determine the distance of stars and hence their luminosity, radii and mass. A description of the Herzspring-Russell diagram illustrates an account of the physical processes involved in stellar formation and evolution, leading to the end-states of white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes. The physical properties, structure and morphology of the galaxies are studied. The subject of galactic dynamics is introduced.

Learning outcomes

After taking this module students should be able to:

Outline syllabus

Coordinate systems. Magnitudes and Brightness. Absolute and Apparent, Visual and Photometric, Bolometric Magnitudes. Stellar distances. Mass-luminosity relation. Introduction to the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.

Interstellar medium. Conditions for gravitational collapse of a molecular cloud. Free fall time, hydrostatic equilibrium. The virial theorem, protostar temperatures, complications beyond the simple theory. Observations of star formation, T-Tauri stars. Entry to the Main Sequence. Energy sources in stars. The nature of matter under stellar core conditions. Hydrogen Burning in MS stars. The CN cycle and p-p chain. Energy transport.

Post-main sequence evolution for low and high mass stars. The end states of stars: Black holes, neutron stars, white dwarfs. Supernovae, planetary nebulae.

Structure of the Galaxy: core, spiral arms, halo, clusters.
Galactic dynamics:
The virial equation, hidden mass. Types of galaxies: spiral, elliptical, irregular.
Active galaxies: Seyfert, quasars.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Carroll and Ostlie. An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics. Addison Wesley 0201547309
** Supplementary Text
Smith. Observational Astrophysics. Cambridge University Press 0521260914
Zeilik & Gregory. Introductory Astronomy & AstroPhysics. 4th. Saunders College Publishing 0471135666