Physical Processes in Astronomy
After a brief overview of vector calculus, integral theorems and coordinate transformations, this course takes on the dynamics of fluids, including collisionless ones. We derive the continuity, momentum & energy equations, discuss hydrostatic equilibrium, viscous flows, fluid instabilities, and focus on various astrophysical applications such as stellar structure and accretion disks. In the final part, we discuss thermal and non-thermal emission mechanisms, study the interaction of radiation and matter, delve into radiative transfer, and address statistical equilibrium.
Lecture hours: Tue-Thu 1.00 – 2.15pm, classroom WTS A60
Office hours: Wed 4.00 – 5.00 pm, office 52HH#320
Syllabus: Click here for download
Lecture Notes: PDF document (200+ pages). Click here for download. NOTE: lecture notes will be updated throughout the semester. Check back regularly for updates.
Grading: – 35% final exam
– 30% midterm exam
– 35% problem sets
For more information, use the Yale Canvas System.
Although no textbook is required (detailed lecture notes are available), students are strongly encouraged to buy the textbook “The Physics of Fluids and Plasmas: An Introduction for Astrophysicists” by Arnab Rai Choudhuri, which covers most of the material covered in class and at the right level. Additional textbooks that are recommended are listed below:
Problem sets (and their solutions) will be made available for download here.
Problem Set 1: due date Tue September 10
Problem Set 2: due date Thu September 19
Problem Set 3: due date Tue October 1
Problem Set 4: due date Thu October 10
Problem Set 5: due date Thu October 31
NOTE: Don’t forget to indicate your name, staple your work, and always explain your answers to the problem sets. Points will be subtracted if you fail to explain how you came to the solution, even if it is correct.