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: T-Th 4.00 – 5.15pm,  classroom WTS A60

Syllabus: Click here for download

Grading:   35% final exam

                       – 30% problem sets

                       – 35% term paper   [List of Topics]

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

Problem sets (and their solutions) will be made available for download here.

Problem Set 1: due date Sept 12 [solutions]

Problem Set 2: due date Sept 21 [solutions]

Problem Set 3: due date Oct 3 [solutions]

Problem Set 4: due date Oct 12 [solutions]

Problem Set 5: due date Nov 30 [solutions]


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.

Preliminary Schedule