Welcome to Astro 580!
Instructor: Prof. Steven Kawaler
From the course catalog:
Astro 580. Stellar Astrophysics. (3-0) Cr. 3. Prereq: 405
Prereq: 405 or 505. The interior structure and atmospheric properties of stars: Stellar structure equations and constitutive relations: energy generation, energy transport by radiation and convection; equation of state, nuclear energy generation and nucleosynthesis. Numerical and analytic solutions to the equations of structure and evolution. Observational connections through the theory of radiative transfer. Line and continuum processes and sources of opacity. Non-LTE and statistical equilibrium. Line profiles. Interpretation of stellar spectra: temperature, pressure, and abundance determinations. Stellar evolution from formation to final phases.
We meet Tuesday and Thursday, 4:10-5:25 in Physics 38
- Exam 3 has been graded, and the final course grades submitted. See Canvas for comments on
your exams and to see all of your grades
- Thanks to all students for your patience through this unusual transition to virtual instruction.
- Please consult Canvas and this website as we have moved to remote instruction. We live in interesting times.
- Thursday's "Journal Stars" chat(s):
- Exam 3 was made available on Canvas on Thursday, 4/30 and was due by 5:00pm on Monday, May 3.
- Final grading formula has been amended - Exam 3 is now worth the same as Exams 1 and 2 (20% of the
course grade each). An additional 10% has been added to the Homework category, with all segment
quizzes combining to be worth a single HW and added into the HW category.
- Reading, Week of April 27
- Reading, Week of April 20
- Bohm Vitense, Chapters 10-13
- Projects were due on Friday, May 1, 2020
Paper choices (a paper published in a refereed journal within the last 2-3
years) should have be decided on by Thursday, April 9
on the MESA project is here for a tool to help with your project. Or if
you prefer to see a narrative about the MESA project, go
here for the first paper describing
- The written format of your final project should be in the form of a referee report on your chosen paper. To help see what you might produce, please have a look at the following::
- Reading, Week of April 13
- Bohm Vitense, Chapters 8-9
- Reading, Week of April 6
- Bohm-Vitense, Chapters 5-8
- With your newfound expertise in numerical solutions of ODEs, in your spare time have a look at
how those same techniques are used in epidemiology modeling (the SIR method and its siblings):
- Exam 2: Take home exam over the April 3-6 weekend
- Reading, week of March 30
- Bohm-Vitense, Chapters 1-5
- Problem Set 4: due March 26
- HK&T 7.2, 7.4, 7.6; bonus 7.1
- Henyey relaxation example - a perturbed solar model
- Some polytrope profiles as shown in class on March 12
- The Canvas home of Astro 580 is now up - you've been enrolled. Our
virtual class will use Canvas for discussion and some document/video delivery.
- Reading, week of March 9
- Problem Set 3: was due March 10
- L&L, 8.1
- HK&T, 6.6, 6.8; bonus 6.9
- Slides shown in class on C12(a,g)O16, and on the s- and r- process
- An interactive chart of nuclides showing the valley of beta stability
- Online access
to nuclear reaction rates. See here for more.
- Reading, week of March 2
- Reading, week of February 17, 24:
- HKT: Chapter 6
- L&L: Chapter 8
- EXAM 1: was available on February 21; and due on MONDAY, February 24 by 4:10 in
my mailbox in 12 Physics.
Because of the exam there was no class meeting on Thursday, February 20.
- Real convection (simulations and observations)
- Article by Iglesias and Rogers on the OPAL opacity calculations
- Slides about EOS and opacities
- From HW2, Here is a Jupyter notebook with a solution to HKT3.1. You'll see that I didn't use fsolve
or any fancy scipy bits... just a simple Newton's method solution of the cubic equation. Just a bit of care taken to ensure that we find the
right root. This avoids the dangers of using a 'black box' that doesn't do what you think/want it to do.
- Problem Set 2 was due February 11
- HK&T 3.1, 3.4, 3.9; L&L 4.5 - bonus, try HKT 3.3
NOTE: code for 3.9 can be found here:
- Reading, week of February 9:
- HK&T, Chapter 5
- L&L, Chapter 7
- Reading, week of February 2
- HK&T, Chapter 4, 5
- L&L, Chapter 5-7
- Reading, week of January 27
- HK&T, Chapter 3
- L&L, Chapter 4
- Homology in the literature:
- Slinky demo of gravitational time scale
- Problem Set 1: was due January 28
- L&L, Problem 3.2, and for a bonus, 3.6
- HKT, Problems 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, and 1.9
- Be sure to obtain the eBook for the second required textbook for the class (Lamers and Levesque).
You can download it from any computer directly connected to the iastate.edu network through Parks Library.
- Reading, the week of January 13, 20:
Web materials and resources for class
As graduate students, you should be able to read the 'technical'
literature of any physical science and at least glean some things of interest
(assuming you can get through the jargon of the field). To that end, here
are links to the main journals of astronomy - have a glance occasionally
at the current online journals to see how the field is doing! All are
available from ISU-based computers via the WWW.
Astrophysical Journal - the premier journal of astrophysics.
in the "ApJ" can be purely theoretical, or purely observational, but most lie
somewhere in between. The "ApJ" consists of three separate publications:
the main Journal, the ApJ Letters which are short papers of
high interest that get published rapidly, and the ApJ
Supplement which contains longer papers (frequently catalogs and
other reference papers). In addtion, the ApJ publishes occasional CD-ROMs as
part of the Supplement.
Astronomical Journal - the premier journal of observational
astronomy. "AJ" papers concentrate on observations, with limited
interpretation, but there is no hard and fast rule.
- Astronomy and
Astrophysics - another top journal, concentrating on European
research (though I publish there because there are no page charges!).
The Europeans have it right - no distinction between astronomy and
astrophysics - it is all there. Includes a 'Letters' section that contains
short papers with rapid turnaround within the same covers. Much more
material on stellar astrophysics than the ApJ.
- Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- the main journal for British astronomy, it also publishes papers from
astronomers around the world. A top journal.
- Annual Reviews of
Astronomy and Astrophysics - authoritative reviews from experts
in a wide variety of subjects - uniformly excellent papers, and a good "first
place to go" when exploring a new field within astronomy.
- Other Journals - other smaller journals are more specialized in
topic or approach. For example,
of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (or PASP) has frequent
papers on astronmical instrumentation, and dissertation abstracts.
Icarus is the premier journal for solar
system/planetary astronomy. Nature, Science, and
Scientific American frequently have important astrophysics
papers of broad intrest. Etc., etc.
- Online access to the literature- In addition to the above
journal links, most of the literature is available for indexed searches by
author, keyword, and object via the
Data Service - an incredibly useful resource that I use at least 5 times
Preprints - There is a heavily used
through arXiv.org - nearly all astronomy preprints are posted there before
publication. Also well indexed. Selected papers are also discussed in the Astrobites site
Here's the course syllabus
Consider a spherical cow...
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