This course introduces basic knowledges about astronomy and astrophysics, and gives introductory reviews on physical bases required to understand phenomena in the Universe. With this course, students get to know that even the cosmic events of extraordinary scales can be understood from fundamental physics laws. Furthermore, this course aims to nourish practical capabilities to solve real-world physics problems through exercises to obtain order-of-magnitude estimations of physical quantities in astrophysical phenomena by applying physics laws.
【Goals】 To learn the basic concepts and knowledges required to understand the current views on the Universe and unresolved problems. To understand astrophysical phenomena based on physical principles.
【Thema】 The Universe is the most intellectually fascinating object to the human kind. Researches on the Universe started from the sun and the moon, then extended to the planets and stars, and then beyond the Milky Way out to its horizon. Get familiar with the Universe from the view point of physics.
Radiation processes, electromagnetic waves, stellar structure, stellar evolution, neutron stars, black holes, galaxies, Hubble's law, Big Bang, cosmic background radiation, gravitational wave, telescopes
|✔ Specialist skills||Intercultural skills||Communication skills||Critical thinking skills||Practical and/or problem-solving skills|
Lectures will be given using slides. Bring smart phones or PCs to the class room to take quizzes on T2SCHOLA.
|Course schedule||Required learning|
|Class 1||Problems in modern astrophysics||Understand the how physical laws are related to astrophysical phenomena|
|Class 2||How to measure distances in the Universe||Present methods and principles for measurements of distances to celestial bodies|
|Class 3||Radiation and blackbody||Give the spectrum and radiation energy of a star assuming it is a blackbody.|
|Class 4||Internal Structure of Stars||Present the fundamental equations that determine the structure of a star.|
|Class 5||The life and death of stars||Describe evolution of stars from their main sequence periods to their endpoints|
|Class 6||Supernova remnants and cosmic rays||Derive approximately the Sedov solution of supernova remnants.|
|Class 7||Neutron stars||Derive the formulae that give estimation of the age and the surface magnetic field of a pulsar from its rotation period and its time derivative.|
|Class 8||X-ray binaries||Give the Eddington luminosity and the corresponding accretion rate of a standard neutron star in an X-ray binary|
|Class 9||Black holes||Explain the methods to observationally confirm the existence of a black hole.|
|Class 10||uniform and isotropic universe||Show that the compactness problem of gamma-ray bursts can be explained by relativistic motions.|
|Class 11||inflation||Explain why the origin of short gamma-ray bursts are attributed to merger of binary neutron stars, with reference to that of long gamma-ray bursts.|
|Class 12||The beginning of the Universe and the cosmic background radiation||Give the relation between the Hubble constant and the age of the model of expanding Universe with zero cosmological constant and zero curvature.|
|Class 13||Stars and galaxies in the early Universe||Explain the cosmic re-ionization and why its observations are made in infrared rather than optical band.|
|Class 14||dark matter||Explain the motivation to introduce dark matter.|
To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.
No textbook is specified. The course materials are uploaded at OCW.
Dan Maoz "Astrophysics in a nutshell" Princeton University Press
Scores are based on the final exam.
No prerequisites are specified, but basic knowledge of mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics are desirable.