Physics and astronomy
Stellar & Galactic Astrophysics
Module code: 889F3
Level 7 (Masters)
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Workshop, Lecture
Assessment modes: Unseen examination, Coursework
In this module, you'll cover the following topics:
Stellar structure and evolution:
- observational properties of stars
- hydrostatic support and polytropes
- energy production
- equations of stellar structure
- end-points of stellar evolution
- supernovae and metal production
- the IMF, yields of (ionising) photons, metals, snr energy.
- stars as a collisionless fluid
- the Boltzmann equation
- the Jeans equations
- the Poisson equation
- simple stellar systems (spherical and disk).
- inviscid fluid equations and relationship to stellar dynamics
- hydrostatic gas disks
- shocks and blast waves
- accretion disks
- fluid instabilities (Kelvin Helmholtz/Rayleigh Taylor).
Physics of the ISM:
- description (relative energy densities of different components)
- thermal instability/multiphase structure
- Jeans instability (collapse of molecular clouds/star-formation)
- the living ISM (recycling and feedback).
Module learning outcomes
- To have an understanding of basic observational properties of stars, their collapse in Jeans instabilities and their life cycle, and to be able to interpret equations of stellar structure.
- To be able to solve for the structure of simple stellar systems using equations of stellar dynamics.
- To be able to apply fluid equations for describing the hydrostatics of self-gravitating systems and different kinds of fluid instabilities and their relation to the astrophysical structures.
- To have a qualitative understanding of the structure of the inter-stellar medium (ISM), its different phases and the recycling of mass between different ISM components.