PHYS4161 Advanced Astrophysics (2012/13)
14 lectures in Michaelmas Term
Additional: An Introduction to Optical Stellar Interferometry, A. Labeyrie, S.G. Lipson, and P. Nisenson (CUP, 2006)
Syllabus: Fundamentals of imaging. PSFs & MTFs, Sampling theorem. Effects on the transmission of light through the atmosphere. Adaptive optics: wavefront sensing, correction and control. Laser guide stars. Limits of adaptive optics. Results from adaptive optics. Michelson's stellar interferometer. The Van Cittert Zernike theorem. Astronomical spectroscopy.
High Energy Astrophysics
10 lectures in Michaelmas and Epiphany Terms
Additional: High Energy Astrophysics, Vols. 1 and 2, M.S. Longair (CUP)
Additional: Radiative Processes in Astrophysics, G.B. Rybicki and A.P. Lightman (Wiley)
Additional: An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics, B.W. Carroll and D.A. Ostlie (Addison-Wesley)
Syllabus: Theoretical and observational tools. Observed properties and classifications of active galactic nuclei. Unified model. Physical processes: Bremsstrahlung, Compton, synchroton.
Physical Processes in the ISM
12 lectures in Epiphany Term
Additional: The Physics of the Interstellar Medium, J.E. Dyson and D.A. Williams (IOP)
Additional: Radiative processes in Astrophysics, Rybicki and Lightman (Wiley)
Additional: Astrophysics of Gaseous Nubulae and Active Galactic Nuclei, Osterbrock and Ferland (University Science Books)
Syllabus: Fundamentals of radiative transfer: description of radiation field, equation of radiative transfer; Plasma effects: dispersion relation, polarization, Faraday rotation; evolution of abundances in the ISM: channels for element production; chemical reactions in the ISM: molecule formation, dust grains; interaction of radiation with matter: energy levels, recombination, ionisation, selection rules, dipole radiation; gaseous nebulae: spectra, cooling and heating, collision strengths, temperature and density sensitive lines; molecules: roto-vibrational transitions; 21 -cm radiation; Saha equation.
3 lectures in Easter Term, one by each lecturer.
Lectures: 2 one-hour lectures per week
Problem exercises: See http://www.dur.ac.uk/physics/students/problems/