Physics and astronomy
Module code: 902F3
Level 7 (Masters)
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Workshop
Assessment modes: Unseen examination, Coursework
This module covers:
- Basic properties of interstellar medium and intergalactic medium
- Radiative transfer
- Emission and absorption lines, line shapes
- Hyperfine transitions, 21-cm line of hydrogen
- Gunn-Peterson effect, Lyman-alpha forest, Damped Lyman Alpha systems
- Radiative heating and cooling processes
- Compton heating/cooling, Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect
- Emission by accelerating changes, retarded potentials, thermal bremstrahlung
- Applications of Special Relativity in Astrophysics, relativistic beaming
- Plasma effects, Faraday rotation, Synchrotron emission
- HII regions, re-ionization
Specific aims are to provide you with:
- An overview of instrumentation and detectors
- An overview of some of the topical cutting edge questions in the field.
An appreciation of how scientific requirements translate to instrument/detector requirements and design.
- A crash course in Astronomy & Astrophysics (6 hours and directed reading)
- Fluxes, luminosities, magnitudes, etc.
- Radiation processes, black bodies, spectra
- Key questions
- Key requirements
- Telescopes & Instruments (3 hours student-led seminars from reading)
- Optical telescopes
- Astronomy beyond the e/m spectrum
- Detectors by wavelength (6 hours taught and 3 hours seminars)
- Detector selection for a future space mission X (4 x 3 hours)
- Scientific motivation and requirements
- Detector options
- External Constraints, financial, risk, etc.
- Detector selection
By the end of the courses, you should be able to:
- Display a basic understanding of detectors in astronomy
- Display communication skills
- Distil technological requirements from scientific drivers
- Make an informed choice of detector for given application with justification.
Level 4: (F3241) Foundation of Modern Physics [T1]
Level 5: (F3204) Electrodynamics [T1]
Level 6: (F3211) Atomic Physics [T1]
Module learning outcomes
- Understand qualitatively the key physical phenomena occurring in the interstellar and intergalactic media and achieve basic familiarity with the relevant physical processes.
- Receive some initial exposure to the scientific research methods and current scientific literature, be able to critically read and summarize papers.
- Be able solve simple physical problems in the areas covered by the course.