Astro 405/505: Astrophysics
Fall 2002
UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Time and Room:
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 3:104:00
43 Physics
Instructors:
Dr. Steven Kawaler
 Office: A323 Physics
 Office Hours: whenever you need me
 Telephone:
2926060 (home; not after 10pm, please)
 email: sdk@iastate.edu

Dr. David CarterLewis
 Office: A415 Physics
 Office Hours: MWF 13
 Telephone
 email: dalewis@iastate.edu

TEXTBOOKS
Highly Recommended
 An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics
by Brad Carroll and Dale Ostlie, (Boston: Addison Wesley) 1995
This text available at the University Bookstore for about $130 (new), or about
$90 (used). You can also probably find it for less (and maybe significantly
less) at used book sites such as AddAll (www.addall.com/used).
Be sure to get the thick one (orange cover, over 1400 pages) and NOT the '...
Stellar Astrophysics' version. Good luck!
Optional, and possibly useful:
 Introductory Astronomy and Astrophysics
M. Zeilik and S. Gregory, (Pacific Cove, CA: Brooks/Cole) 1998
This the text used in Astro 346 and is a good general overview of astrophysics.
For stellar astrophysics:
 Stellar Interiors: Physical Principles, Structure and Evolution
C. Hansen and S. Kawaler, (New York: SpringerVerlag ) 1994
 Structure and Evolution of the Stars
M. Schwarzschild, (New York: Dover) 1958, 1965
 Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis
D. Clayton, (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago) 1968, 1984
 Black Holes, White Dwarfs, and Neutron Stars
S. Shapiro and S. Teukolsky (New York: Wiley) 1983
The first is used in Astro 580 (Stellar
Interiors). Though the second and third are
somewhat dated, they contain very clear presentations of the basic physics
of stars. They are reasonably priced, and belong on the book shelf of
all astronomers.
and for extragalactic and highenergy asrophysics
 High Energy Astrophysics
M.S. Longair, (Cambridge, Cambridge U. Press) 1994;
 Modern Cosmology
D.W. Sciama, (Cambridge, Cambridge U. Press) 1975
 Theoretical Concepts in Physics
by M.S. Longair, (Cambridge, Cambridge U. Press) 1987
For reference 1, two volumes have been published with a third in preparation.
The second volume entitled Stars, the Galaxy and the
interstellar medium is useful. The second reference presents the
basic ideas of the Big Bang clearly and concisely, but obviously is no
longer modern! In reference 3, the last two chapters on relativity
and cosmology are both concise and readable.
EXAMS:
There will be two midterm exams, each worth 35%
towards your total grade. They will follow the two basic sections of this
course (see below). All exams will be openbook or takehome,
at arranged times outside of class.
PROBLEM SETS:
Several problem sets will be assigned this term. You may (and are
encouraged to) work together on these problems. However, each student is
expected to turn in his/her own paper with his/her own work. Identical
answers to essaytype questions, or to interpretation of numerical results,
will be severely frowned upon. Problems will frequently require computer
solutions (just like in real life). Therefore you are all strongly
encouraged to have at least a Project Vincent account.
Taken together, the problem sets account for 30%
of your total grade.
COMPUTATIONS:
Astrophyics is now dominated, in both theoretical and observational
approaches, by numerical computations using moreorless standard modeling
and data analysis codes. With the abundance of computing equipment
available in the department, we can make extensive use of basic
astronomical software that run on machines ranging from Vincent systems
to PCs and Macs. You should anticpate using some of these software tools
with an eye towards solving real problems in addition to supporting
analytical exercises. In addition, some of the problem sets will require
numerical solutions using tools that you will have to develop on your
own... either by writing Fortran or C code, or by intelligent use of
packages such as Mathematica.
PRESENTATION: the difference between 405 and 505 By the end of this
course, graduate students in this class will be expected to have the
ability to read, critically and intelligently, any Astrophysical
Journal paper. To demonstrate this, we will have a miniature
Astrophysics Symposium. Each graduate student will be required to
present a 25 minute talk (20 minute presentation, with 5 minutes for
questions) about a paper that has appeared in the literature within the
past two years. These talks will be open to the class and any interested
members of the Physics and Astronomy department. Refreshments will be
provided by your instructor. Papers to be presented will require approval
from the instructor one month prior to the Symposium. The presentation
(and a general assessment of your class participation) will be taken into
account for your total grade in 505. In particular, 90% of your course
grade will be determined by exams and homework as above, with the remaining
10% corresponding to the presentation.
COURSE OUTLINE: TENTATIVE!!
Note that we have less than 15 weeks to cover this enormous field! Thus the
following breakdown in timing is only preliminary. We must reserve some
flexibility to ensure that we cover, or at least touch upon, as many of these
important topics as possible. Astrophysicists generally call themselves
eitehr stellar or extragalactic astronomers, so we will break the course into
these two minicourses.
 Introduction (1 week)
 The Culture of Astronomy
 Tools, Techniques, and Approaches  it ain't Physics!
 Astronomy today
 Stellar Astronomy (6 weeks)
 Introduction (1 day)
 Observational stellar astronomy (2 days)
 The atmospheres of Stars  Radiation transport and spectra (2 days)
 Stellar interior structure (2 days)
 Nuclear processes in stellar interiors (2 days)
 Evolution of stars (2 days)
 Stellar pulsation (1 day)
 Supernovae (1 day)
 Compact stellar corpses: white dwarfs and neutron stars (2 days)
 The interstellar medium (2 days)
 Star Formation (1 day)
 Digression: Relativity (1 week)
 Special Theory (1.5 days)
 Introduction
 Galilean and Lorentz transformations
 4vectors and invariants
 General Theory (1.5 days)
 Equivalence Principle
 Curved ST and geodesics
 Black holes revisited
 Galaxies (3 weeks)
 Overview (2 days)
 Classification and comments
 Distances and large scale structure
 Comments on dark matter
 The Milky Way (4 days)
 Constituents
 Kinematics
 Dark matter
 Spiral structure
 Center
 Active Galaxies (3 days)
 Observations
 Unified model
 Cosmology (3 weeks)
 Observations (4 days)
 Comments
 Basic observations
 Digression: Curved space/RW metric
 Basic observations revisited
 The expanding universe
 The Big Bang (3 days)
 Dynamics
 Temperatures
 Condensates
 Crazy Stuff (2 days)
 Inflation
 Drivers for expansion
 Wormholes, entropy and time, etc.