Ana M. Larson
Observations and theory of the atmospheres, chemical composition, internal structure, energy sources, and evolutionary history of stars. Prerequisite: ASTR 322. Offered: W.
The basic physics of stellar atmospheres and interiors, and how astrophysicists use that physics in their modeling of stars and in their interpretations of their observations.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Students will be active participants in the lecturing process by explaining the fundamentals of the theories pertaining to stellar atmospheres and stellar interiors. The overview of the fundamental physics will be followed by instruction and examples as to how astronomers actually USE the theory not only in their observations but also in their models. Students will be expected to produce their own model atmosphere of the Sun under LTE and the grey atmosphere approximation and compare their model to observations. Students will also do a similar project for stellar interiors, and relate their results to observations of stars in clusters.
Astronomy 322; 1st-yr calculus series; 1st-year physics series, elementary knowledge of computer programming. Students should have had some contact with the Saha equation, and the concepts of radiative transfer, equation of state, stellar energy sources, hydrostatic equilibrium, stellar opacity, amongst others.
Class assignments and grading
Classroom presentations, two quarter projects, outside reading and reporting, some exams testing basic knowledge
Performance on the assignments