- Code ASTR6013
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Areas of interest Astronomy and Astrophysics
This course provides an introduction to the physical processes that underlie almost all astrophysical phenomena: radiation and fluid dynamics. The course is split evenly between those two topics, with an emphasis on basic physical processes rather than astrophysical applications. The radiation portion of the class covers the statistical mechanics of radiation fields, radiative transfer, plasma emission processes (free and synchrotron radiation), and line formation. The fluid dynamics portion includes derivation of the theory of fluids from gas kinetics, calculation of flows in simple geometry, stability analysis, and supersonic flows and shocks. The overall goal is to provide a grounding in physics suitable for continuing research in astrophysics in more specialised classes.
This course is taught with undergraduate students but assessed separately.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Explain the physical processes of radiation emission and radiative transfer, and be able to apply these principles to solve quantitative problems using a variety of mathematical and numerical approaches;
- Explain the fluid approximation and its validity, and be able to solve quantitative problems in fluid mechanics;
- Clearly communicate the results of physical analysis in the areas of radiation and fluid dynamics;
- Work effectively as part of a group on problems in these areas;
- Read, interpret, and critically analyse professional research literature in the areas of astrophysical fluid dynamics and radiative transfer modelling;
- Identify unsolved problems in astrophysical fluid dynamics and radiative transfer, and propose research approaches that could be used to address them.
- 6 problem sets (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Final exam (40) [LO 1,2,3]
- Critical reflection on research literature, delivered in written and oral form (20) [LO 5,6]
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The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:
- Face-to face component which may consist of 3 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week
- Approximately 82 hours of self-study which will include an average 4 hours per week of problem sets, and 3 hours per week on the critical literature reflection
To be determined
Requisite and Incompatibility
Radiative Processes in Astrophysics, by G. B. Rybicki and A. P. Lightman
The Physics of Astrophysics, Vol. II: Gas Dynamics, by F. H. Shu
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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