- Class Number 4200
- Term Code 3130
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Prof Mark Krumholz
- Prof Mark Krumholz
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 22/02/2021
- Class End Date 28/05/2021
- Census Date 31/03/2021
- Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
The course covers the following topics: The diffuse universe; line emission processes; collisional excitation; line transfer effects; collision ionization equilibrium; cooling plasmas; interstellar shocks; theory of photoionised regions; parameters of photoionised regions and interstellar dust.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Understand the processes by which continuum and line radiation is produced in the interstellar medium.
- Understand how collisional excitation and photoionization determine the populations of ions in their different energy levels.
- Understand the formation of the emission spectrum in photoionised regions including HII regions, planetary nebulae and active galactic nuclei; estimation of the parameters of such regions.
- Understand the formation of shocks in the interstellar medium and the resultant spectra.
- Understand the physics of the cooling function for astrophysical plasma and its important role in different contexts.
- Understand the physics of dust in the interstellar medium and its effect on the emitted spectrum.
The course is based predominantly on the textbook: "Astrophysics of the Diffuse Universe" by M. Dopita and R. Sutherland. PDFs of this book can be obtained from the convenor.
We also recommend the text book "Physics of the Interstellar and Intergalactic Medium" by B. Draine
Recommended student system requirements
ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:
- video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
- two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
- email and other messaging tools for communication
- interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
- print and photo/scan for handwritten work
- home-based assessment.
To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:
- A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
- Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
- Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
- Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
- Printing, and photo/scanning equipment
For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- Assignments will be returned during the course to give direct feedback on understanding
- Example questions will be discussed in tutorials to help understanding
- Discussions are strongly encouraged to give direct feedback in the form of positive responses
- Essays will be examined exactly the same way as journal articles, with direct feedback on content, writing style, presentation and understanding level
- Oral presentation will have direct feedback after the presentation (and with practice presentations if wished) on content, style, clarity and general presentation skills.
ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.
Where an assignment is formed of a number of activities, the date range indicates the due date for the first component and the return date of the final component. Further information is provided in the assessment section of the class summary, and details are provided on the course wattle site.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Physics of diffuse gas -- 12 lectorials covering physical processes in diffuse gas||3 problem sets due on the dates listed in the syllabus; oral presentation and oral final exam|
|2||Phases and structure of diffuse gas -- 10 lectorial covering the structure of the diffuse gas in the universe||2 problem sets due on the dates listed in the syllabus; oral presentation and oral final exam|
Tutorial registration will occur during classes
|Assessment task||Value||Learning Outcomes|
|Problem sets||40 %||1,2,3,4,5,6|
|Final presentation||30 %||1,2,3,4,5,6|
|Oral final exam||30 %||1,2,3,4,5,6|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.
Moderation of Assessment
Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.
Attendance forms a key part of the assessment, and all students are encouraged to be active participants in the classes, with questions on the diffuse matter in the universe.
There will be an oral final exam.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6
5 problem sets, due at 2-3 week intervals -- see wattle page for exact due dates of each problem set. Each problem set is worth an equal amount.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6
Each student will give a 20 - 30 minute in-class final presentation during the final week of the course. Topics will be by mutual agreement between the student and the professor, and will be fixed by the midterm break. Presentations will take place during the last few meetings of the term. All students are expected to attend, and to ask questions and participate in the discussion – such participation will be factored into the presentation grade.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6
Oral final exam
There will be an oral final exam during the exam period, which will be scheduled individually. This exam will last approximately 45 minutes, and will consist of making rough estimates, order of magnitude calculations, scaling arguments, and similar quick calculations of the type that one is likely to encounter during a discussion at a scientific conference or similar venue.
Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.
You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.
For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.
Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.
Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.
While hardcopy submission is allowed, online submission (such as a PDF) is preferred.
Extensions and Penalties
Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Distribution of grades policy
Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.
Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.
Support for students
The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students