Physics 313: Elements of Astrophysics -
Physics 313 Astrophysics (3 credit hours; prerequisite: PHYS231/232)TR 1:30 - 2:45 p.m. Room 205 OCNPS | Office hours: Fridays 11:00-12:00 2100J PSB2
Dr. Sebastian Kuhn (Phone: 683-5804) Email: skuhn (at)
Course Information: Syllabus and Draft Schedule
Required text book: Astrophysics in a Nutshell, 2nd edition,
by Dan Maoz, Princeton University Press, 2016; ISBN: 9781400881178.
(This site also has links to e-book versions and selected chapters
online). May be substituted by Carroll and Ostlie instead (see below).
books are recommended
but not required. However, you are strongly urged to buy/borrow/rent/download at least one of them, and to peruse others on occasion (library, friends...). Here they are:
- An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics, by B.W. Carroll and D.A.
Ostlie, Pearson/AW, 2007; ISBN-10: 0805304029. This is the "big orange book" a.k.a. "BoB" that covers "everything" - certainly a lot more
than we can cover in a 1-semester course. It comes with a companion
additional links. Recommended for the serious astrophysics student
(with sufficiently deep pockets and sturdy shelves/bookbags). If you
buy this one, you can definitely skip Maoz.
- Principles of Astrophysics
by Charles Keeton (Springer). Similar in coverage, style and
accessibility to Maoz.
- An Invitation to Astrophysics, by T. Padmanabhan, World
Scientific, 2006; ISBN: 981-256-687-2 (paperback). A bit more dense and mathematical than the other ones.
- "Cosmology" by Barbara Ryden. Definitely on a higher level but quite interesting.
- Death from the Skies! by Philip Plait. A unique angle on Astrophysics (highly entertaining and an easy read) by the author of the website "Bad Astronomy". Contains many of the phenomena we will study.
- Meeting Place: ROOM 205 of
and Physics Building (OCNPS)
- Meeting Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30 - 2:45 p.m
- Office hours: Fridays 11:00 - 12:00 in my office (PSB2, 2100J), Tuesdays 11:00 - 12:00 (Physics Learning Center) and by appointment.
- Useful formulas and relationships
- Participation Credit
- There are two parts to your participation score (15% of your overall grade in the class):
- 1) In-class pop quizzes (40%)
- 2) Special reports, projects or other contributions to the class (60%), for example
- Writing up the lecture notes for one class meeting
- Writing up a short report (about 2 pages) on any news item relevant to our class, including on any of the web links below
- Giving a mini-lecture (10 min) on any subject related to our class (ask me first)
DEADLINE: FRIDAY, APRIL 21, MIDNIGHT
Our Final Exam is over!
Here are the solutions
Have a wonderful summer...
/ Lecture Notes:
- Week 1: Kepler's Laws, Virial Theorem | Ray and Wave Optics, Slides | EM Radiation, Collection of information on electromagnetism | Screenshot 1st lecture, 2nd lecture
- Week 2: Blackbody Radiation, Short summary of Modern Physics | Lecture Notes, Quantum Mechanics and Light | Screenshot 3rd lecture
- Week 3: Whiteboard Capture 4th lecture, Spectral Types | Slides || Binaries and Relativity | Doppler-Effect and Hertzsprung-Russel | Whiteboard 5th lecture | More Slides | See also Lecture Notes for the 1st through 4th class period for "PHYS323 Modern Physics"
- Week 4: Slides | Whiteboard1 | Whiteboard2 | Older lecture notes: Light Transport | Stellar Atmospheres | Stellar Interior | See also Collection of Definitions and Equations
- Week 5: Nucleosynthesis in stars | Whiteboard1 | Stellar Evolution_Slides | Whiteboard | Older lecture notes: Main Sequence Stars
- Week 6: Endstages of Stellar Evolution Slides | White Dwarfs , Whiteboard Capture | Supernovae | Whiteboard Capture | Older lecture notes: White Dwarfs | Supernovae | Neutron Stars
- Week 7: General Relativity and Black Holes: Slides | Whiteboard Capture 1 | Whiteboard Capture 2 | Older lecture notes: Black Holes
- Week 8: Whiteboard Capture | Older lecture notes: Black Holes | General Relativity | MIDTERM EXAM
- Week 9: Particle Physics | Slides: Cosmic Rays: Electromagnetic Waves, Gravity Waves, Chunks of Matter, Nuclei and Particles, Neutrinos | Whiteboard Capture | ... and a nice summary from a different sources
- Week 10: Galaxies and Dark Matter | Slides | Older Lecture Notes: Milky Way Galaxy Types and collisions
- Week 11: Last year's Whiteboard Capture | Older Lecture Notes: AGN1, AGN2 | Slides
- Week 12: Large Scale Structure of Universe: | Slides | Whiteboard Capture 1 | Whiteboard Capture 2 | Older Lecture Notes: | Distribution of Galaxies | Redshift | Whiteboard Capture 1 | Whiteboard Capture 2
- Week 13: Slides1 | Lecture Notes | Whiteboard1 | Slides2 | Whiteboard2 | Older Lecture Notes: Cosmic Expansion | Dynamics of Expansion - see this Excel spreadsheet | CMB and Nucleosynthesis - Courtesy Dr. Y. Prok
- Week 14: Slides | Whiteboard 1 | Whiteboard 2 | Summary (Last Lecture)
Links:The whole Universe in one fell swoop
Collection of recent articles and news relevant to our class
Some interesting fellowship opportunities
For current underrepresented minority freshmen: http://vsgc.odu.edu/sf/Bridge/
For undergrad students that will be juniors or senior next year and plan to do research: http://vsgc.odu.edu/sf/undergrad/
For Internship opportunities, see this interactive flyer
Some interesting Astrophysics Webpages
Cosmic Gems (mostly eye candy - but VERY nice...)
Nice interactive intro to Cosmology - our whole course in a nutshell
Top Ten Physics Stories of 2016 - quite a few about astrophysics!
MIT Open Courseware Lectures on the Early Universe by Alan Guth (the inventor of inflation)
Lots more open online courses on cosmology and other topics from World Science University
The Glass Universe - a book about female astronomers at Harvard
The pillars of creation:
Strictly for Amusement:
Is there a wormhole at the center of our Galaxy?
Do aliens produce high-energy cosmic rays?
Did Homer Simpson discover the Higgs boson first?