AST241 -- Astrophysics I: Stellar Astrophysics

Spring 2021

This is a course in the physics and astrophysics of stars. The course will cover both what makes them shine, how we know, and how stars and stellar evolution fit into their broader astrophysical context. The overall correspondence between stellar evolution theory and observation is one of the great community successes of physics and astronomy. That said, there are still many open research questions left unsolved.

Class Hours: Tues and Thurs 11:05 - 12:20 Meloria 205

Prof:     Eric Blackman, Bausch &Lomb 417,  blackman@pas.rochester.edu

     Office Hours: Thurs 12:45-2:15pm

TA:     TBA


The required course textbook is: An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics (by Carroll and Ostlie, 2nd edition)

(Lectures Will be Streamed Live by Zoom and Recorded onto Panopto)



The approximate syllabus and order of topics to be covered is below (with relevane textbook chapter in parenthesis) Subject to tweaking as course proceeds.

1. Basic properties of stars and what binaries teach us (Chapter 7)

2. Stellar Spectra (Chapter 8)

3: Stellar Atmospheres (Chapter 9)

4. Stellar Interiors (Chapter 10)

5. Sun as an Example (Chapter 11)

6. Main Sequence and Post-Main sequence evolution (Chapter 13)

7. Helioseismology and Stellar Puslation (Chapter 14)

8. Massive stars and their end states (Chapter 15)

9. Stellar Remnants (Chapter 16)

10. Topics in the Evolution of Binaries: connections to NS-NS/ BH-Mergers; Gravitational Waves, Accretion, Common Envelope (Chapter 18)


All work to be submitted ONLINE in the AST241 depository:

(1) 6-7 Homework problem sets (sets 20%)

(2) Take home mid-term (40%) Handed out Mar 25, due Mar 27

(3) Take home final (40%) Handed out May 13, Due May 14




Stellar Spectra

Maxwell- Boltzmann Derivation Supplement

G. W. Collins textbook "Fundamentals of Stellar Astrophyscs"

Astronomy picture of the day archive

Astronomy and Physics Online Journal Publication Database (ADS)