The course is based on the theoretical development of the transfer of radiation through the atmospheres of stars, determining how the emergent spectrum may be used to determine the chemical composition of stars. Other aspects of stars related to their atmospheres are also examined; these include magnetic activity and stellar winds.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:On completion of this course students will:
- Understand the physics and mathematics underpinning the radiative transfer equation
- Understand the significance of local thermodynamic equilibrium and non local thermodynamic equilibrium and the sources of opacity in stellar atmospheres.
- Understand the structure of stellar atmospheres and how this is determined through one-dimensional and three-dimensional solutions of the transfer equation.
- Understand the significance of the stellar parameters: the effective temperature, surface gravity and chemical abundance and how they are estimated.
- Be able to apply radiative transfer techniques to determine chemical abundances of stars in different environments such as the Galactic bulge and halo, the local group and the host stars of exo-planets.
- Understand the effects of magnetic fields and the formation of emission lines in the winds of hot stars.
Indicative AssessmentProject report: 100%. LO 1-6.
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Workload10 hours per week consisting of 4 hours of lectures and tutorials and 6 hours of project work.
Requisite and Incompatibility
You will need to contact the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics to request a permission code to enrol in this course.
Prescribed TextsStellar Atmospheres, Dimitri Mihalas, Freeman (2nd edition, 1978)
Assumed KnowledgeStudents should have completed PHYS2013 – Quantum Mechanics and PHYS2016 – Electromagnetism, or their equivalents.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
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