Alexander L. Rudolph    Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Cal Poly Pomona
Phy424
Physics 424 is an upper division physics course on the topic of astrophysics.
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Fall Quarter, 2012

  • Welcome to the Web page for PHY 424 - Astrophysics.
  • Course Description

    Physics 424, Astrophysics is a general survey of modern astrophysics.  The course starts with the fundamental physical concepts underlying much of astrophysics, including gravitation and orbital mechanics, and radiative processes (including blackbody radiation, line emission and rudiments of radiative transfer).  We then move on to discuss the stellar structure, evolution and death, the physics of compact stars, the interstellar medium and star-formation, and the structure and evolution of the galaxies, galaxy clusters and the universe. (4 credits).

  • CURRENT ANNOUNCEMENTS
    • I will communicate with you frequently via your Cal Poly e-mail address, so read your e-mail regularly (at least once per day!)
  • Reading Assignments

    All reading should be done before the date indicated (i.e., before the class in which we will discuss the topic).  You will almost certainly want to reread the chapter when you go to work on the related homework assignment.  This is difficult technical material, and you will need to read it more than once to fully understand it.  Reading the same material multiple times is the norm in Physics and Astronomy!

Assn.# Due Date     Reading Assignment 

1 M, 9/24 Chapter 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, The Celestial Sphere
Chapter 2.1-2.3, Celestial Mechanics

2

W, 9/26

Chapter 3, The Continuous Spectrum of Light

3

F, 9/28

Chapter 5, The Interaction of Light and Matter

4

W, 10/3

Chapter 7, Binary Systems and Stellar Parameters

5

M, 10/8

Chapter 8, The Classification of Stellar Spectra

6

M, 10/15

Chapter 10.1-10.3, 10.4 (p. 315), 10.5 (pp. 329-334), 10.6, The Interiors of Stars

7

M, 10/22

Chapter 12, The Interstellar Medium and Star Formation

8

W, 10/31

Chapter 13, Main Sequence and Post-Main-Sequence Stellar Evolution
Chapter 15.1-15.3, The Fate of Massive Stars

9

F, 11/2

Chapter 16, The Degenerate Remnants of Stars

10

M, 11/5

Chapter 17, General Relativity and Black Holes

11

W, 11/7

Chapter 24.1-24.2, The Milky Way Galaxy

12

F, 11/9

Chapter 24.3, The Milky Way Galaxy

13

W, 11/14 Chapter 25.1, The Nature of Galaxies
Chapter 26.1, Galactic Evolution

14

F, 11/16 Chapter 27.1 (pp. 1038-1042, 1051), 27.2, The Structure of the Universe

15

M, 11/19 Chapter 29.1, Cosmology

16

M, 11/26 Chapter 29.3, Cosmology
17 W, 11/28

Chapter 29.2, Cosmology

18 F, 11/30

Chapter 30.1, The Early Universe

  • Homework Assignments

All of the problems come from the textbook, except those with names, which will be handed out in class.  Assignments will be due at the beginning of the class period on the due date.  I may not collect the homework until the end of class, in case there are questions about the problems.  Unless you speak to me ahead of the due date, late homework depreciates in point value (not necessarily in pedagogic value) at the rate of 20% per day.  You should begin homework several days in advance of the due date.

Assn.# Due Date     Homework Problems

1

M, 10/1

2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.14

2

M, 10/8

3.3, 3.4, 3.12, 3.14

3

M, 10/15

5.8, 5.11, 5.16, 7.4, 7.6, 7.10

4

M, 10/22

8.4, 8.6, 8.10, 8.13

5

M, 10/29

10.3, 10.4, 10.12 + What is the total energy released in the PPI chain?, 10.21

6

M, 11/5

12.1, 12.2, Stromgen Sphere, HII Region Emission, Molecular Hydrogen Formation

7

W, 11/14

13.5, 13.8, 15.11, 15.12, 15.13

8

M, 11/19

16.1, 16.19, 17.5, 17.21

9

M, 11/26

24.1, 24.18, 24.22, 26.1

10

M, 12/3

27.2, 29.3, 29.4, 29.17, 29.30

©2011 by Alexander L. Rudolph
alrudolph@csupomona.edu
http://www.csupomona.edu/~alrudolph

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The space for this page is provided by Cal Poly Pomona and is subject to its policies. Nevertheless, the opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent official policy of the University. I take full responsibility for the information presented and will appreciate being informed of errors or inaccuracies.

Last modified on 26 November, 2012