Copyright © Michael Richmond.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Physics 440, "Astrophysics I", Winter 2003
This material can be found online at URL
http://spiff.rit.edu/classes/phys440/phys440.html
Outline for the course
Syllabus
Lectures
 A review of coordinates

The distance to asteroid 2002 NY40 via parallax

Heliocentric parallax

Bias in parallax measurements
 The magnitude scale
 Blackbody radiation

Astronomical spectra, filters and magnitudes

Astronomical "color"

Measuring stellar sizes
 Elliptical orbits
 Kepler's Third Law
 The "Reduced Mass" approach
 The equivalence of
real and reducedmass systems
 Integrals of motion
and Kepler's Third Law (again)
 The effect of a
tilted orbital plane
 Removing the tilt
from a visual binary's orbit
 Using the virial
theorem: mass of a globular cluster
 Using the virial
theorem: mass of a cluster of galaxies
 Digression:
the Lagrange points in the 3body problem
 Introduction
to Stellar Spectra
 Spectral
Classification
 The Boltzmann Equation
 The Saha Equation
 Digression: The
Expanding Photosphere Method
 Luminosity
class and the HR diagram
 Properties of the
Radiation Field
 (Local)
Thermodynamic Equilibrium
 Optical Depth
 The causes of opacity
 Breaking News:
A star is born!

Vermin of the sky
 Random walks
 Limb darkening
 The shape of spectral lines
 The curve of growth
Homework sets
 HW 1: Coordinates and parallax.
 HW 2: Magnitudes, fluxes,
and spectra: oh, my!
(due in class Friday, Dec 19)
 HW 3: Orbits
(due in class Monday, Jan 12)
 HW 4: The orbit of 70 Oph
(due in class Wednesday, Jan 28)
 HW 5: Stellar atmospheres
(due in class Friday, Feb 13)
 HW 6: Final homework set
(due Thursday, Feb 26, at 9:00 AM)
For more information
This page maintained by Michael Richmond.
Last modified Jul 19, 2007.
Copyright © Michael Richmond.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.