AST 380E

Radiative Processes in Astrophysics

Fall 1999

MWF 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
RLM 15.216B
Unique No. 45035

Instructor: John Lacy
Office: RLM 16.332, 334
Office Hours: after class or whenever

Contents: The course will cover classical and quantum radiative processes relevant to astrophysics. I want you to be able to find and use formulas for calculations needed for your research, and to have a qualitative understanding of where the formulas come from and what they say.
Prerequisites: I assume you have seen Maxwell's equations and Schrodinger's equation, and some simple solutions to these equations.
Texts: Texts: Rybicki & Lightman, "Radiative Processes in Astrophysics", covers the first half of the course well and the second half not so well. In the past, when the course covered only quantum processes, Bransden & Joachain, "Physics of Atoms and Molecules" was used, and it may be a useful supplement for the second half of the course. Other texts on these topics include books by Jackson, Shu, Herzberg, Mihalis, and Spitzer (and your undergrad E&M and quantum texts).
Homework: A homework set will be assigned approximately every two weeks. The homework will emphasize calculations. Some problems will come from R&L, who give the answers in the back of the book. Work them out yourselves, with help from other students and the book when necessary, and hand in your own work. Homework will count for 2/3 of the grade.
Tests: There will be four in-class tests, approximately one every four weeks. The tests will not involve any substantial calculations, but will require qualitative answers and explanations. The tests will count for 1/3 of the grade.

Week Topic R&L chapter Quiz
8/25 Radiative transfer 1
8/30 Radiative transfer contd.
9/6 E&M review 2
9/13 Radiation fields #1
9/20 Radiation from moving charges 3
9/27 Relativity 4
10/4 Bremsstrahlung 5
10/11 Synchrotron radiation & Compton scattering 6&7 #2
10/18 QM review, Schrodinger's eq. 9.1&9.2
10/25 Spin, Multi-electron atoms 9.3&9.4
11/1 Perturbation theory, radiation 10 #3
11/8 Hydrogen, helium spectra
11/15 Molecular structure 11
11/22 Molecular vibration and rotation
11/29 Molecular transitions #4