Physics 5010: The Astrophysics of Stars

Winter 2010

Lecture: 9:35-10:30 MWF, Room 177, Physics Building

This is a 3 credit course. This course is an introduction to the physics of stars.

Professor: David Cinabro (333 Physics, 313-577-2918, cinabro@physics.wayne.edu, http://motor1.physics.wayne.edu/cinabro.html)
Office Hours: 10:30-11:30 MW or by appointment
Text: An Introduction to the Theory of Stellar Structure and Evolution by Prialnik; Cambridge 2000 (2009 is the second edition which is OK. Things in parenthesis refer to the second edition where they are different from the first. Basically there are new chapters 8 and 10, some small changes in the rest of the text and some jumbling of the problems.)
3 Exams (60%)
There will be two exams during the term and one as the final exam.
Homework (40%)
Homework problems are assigned associated with each lecture. Those of the previous week are due on Wednesday.
Final Exam
The final is Friday 30 April at 8:00. This will be the third of the exams.

Day by Day in Class

Date Topic Chapters Problems
11 Jan Introduction -
13 Jan Stellar Basics 1.1-1.2 Calculate the distance to Proxima Centauri.
15 Jan HR Diagram 1.3-1.4 Ex 1.2,1.3 (1.1, 1.2)
18 Jan MLK Day No Class
20 Jan Equilibrium 2.1-2.3 Ex 2.1, 2.2
22 Jan Dynamics 2.4-2.5 Ex 2.3, 2.4
25 Jan Evolution Equation 2.6-2.7
27 Jan Timescale 2.8
29 Jan Equation of State 3.1-3.2 Show the Pressure Integral is dimensionally correct and prove Equation 3.9
1 Feb Pressure 3.3-3.4 Ex 3.1
3 Feb Radiation 3.5-3.6 Ex 3.2
5 Feb Radiative Transfer 3.7 Ex 3.3
8 Feb Nuclear Reactions 4.1-4.2 Prove Equation 4.6
10 Feb Hydrogen Burning 4.3-4.4
12 Feb He, C, O, Si Burning 4.5-4.7 Ex 4.1,4.2
15 Feb Heavy Elements 4.8-4.10
17 Feb Review 1-4
19 Feb Exam 1 1-4
22 Feb Simple Stellar Model I 5.1-5.3 Ex 5.1,5.2,5.3,5.4
24 Feb Limits 5.4-5.5 Ex 5.5,5.6
26 Feb Simple Stellar Model II 5.6-5.7 Ex 5.7
1 Mar Thermal Stability 6.1-6.2
3 Mar Dynamic Stability 6.3-6.4 Show that for an adiabatic process, stable hydrostatic equilibrium corresponds to a minimum state of the total energy; Show that there is a critical temperature above which partially ionized hydrogen will always be dynamically staple, and find this temperature (Ex 6.2, 6.3)
5 Mar Convection 6.5-6.7 Ex 6.2 (6.4)
8 Mar T-rho Evolution 7.1-7.2
10 Mar The Main Sequence 7.3-7.4 Ex 7.1, 7.2, 7.3
12 Mar Late Evolution and Problems 7.5-7.6 Ex 7.6
15-19 Mar Spring Break No Class
22 Mar Review 5-7
24 Mar Exam II 5-7
26 Mar Pre-Main Sequence 8.1 (9.1)
29 Mar Main Sequence Phase 8.2-8.3 (9.2-9.3) Ex 8.2 (9.1)
30 Mar Red Giants 8.4 (9.4) Ex 8.3 (9.2)
2 Apr Core Helium Burning 8.5-8.6 (9.5-9.6) Ex 8.4,8.5 (Estimate the mass loss timescale and compare it with the thermal timescale of a star; Show that the rate of energy supply required for the mass loss at a rate given by equation 9.27 is a small fraction of the luminosity; Find the relation between the mass loss timescale and the nuclear timescale of the star and show that usually the mass loss timescale is less than the nuclear timescale; Assuming that the mass loss rate may be parametrized and in equation 9.27 show that for a main sequence star the mass loss rate is proportional to the luminosity to some exponent alpha and evaluate alpha.
5 Apr Star Death 8.7-8.8 (9.7-9.8) Ex 8.6 (9.3)
7 Apr Massive Stars 8.9-8.10 (9.9-9.10)
9 Apr Supernova 9.1 (10.1)
12 Apr Supernova Explosions 9.2 (10.2) Ex 9.1,9,2 (10.1,10.2)
14 Apr Stellar Nucleosynthesis 9.3-9.4 (10.3-10.4) Derive the espression of the light curve L(t) of a supernova powered by the decay of Ni-56 and Co-56 assuming that one solar mass of Ni-56 was initially expelled in the explosion (Ex 10.3)
16 Apr Black Holes 9.5-9.6 (10.5-10.6,11.2)
19 Apr Star Formation 10.1-10.2 (12.1-12.2) Ex 10.1 (12.1)
21 Apr Initial Mass 10.3-10.4 (12.3-12.4) Ex 10.2,10.3 (12.2,12.3)
23 Apr Global Stellar Evolution 10.5 (12.5) Ex 10.4 (12.4)
26 Apr Review 8-10 (9,10-12) -
30 Apr Final 8-10 (9,10-12) -


Last modified: Sun Mar 22 19:07:17 EDT 2009