Physics and astronomy
Stellar & Galactic Astrophysics
Module code: 889F3
Level 7 (Masters)
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Workshop, Lecture
Assessment modes: Coursework, Unseen examination
Stellar Structure & Evolution:
- Observational properties of stars
- Hydrostatic support; polytropes
- Energy production
- Equations of stellar structure
- End-points of stellar evolution
- Supernovae; 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; relationship to stellar dynamics
- Hydrostatic gas disks
- Shocks & 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.