AST453 -- Stellar Atmospheres and Interiors

Spring 2019

Class Hours: 14:00 - 15:15 LeChase Hall 143

Prof:     Eric Blackman, Bausch &Lomb 417A, 5-0537,

Course Material and Texts:

This course will cover the physics of stellar interiors, stellar structure and stellar atmospheres, and some aspects of star formation.

There will be no required textbook but one useful book is by George W. Collins and is available in full online: G. W. Collins textbook "Fundamentals of Stellar Astrophyscs"

The chapter titles form a good outline for the material to be covered:

Chapter 1: Introduction and Fundamental Principles

Chapter 2: Basic Assumptions, Theorems, and Polytropes

Chapter 3: Sources and Sinks of Energy

Chapter 4: Flow of Energy through the Star and Construction of Stellar Models

Chapter 5: Theory of Stellar Evolution

Chapter 6: Relativistic Stellar Structure

Chapter 7: Structure of Distorted Stars

Chapter 8: Stellar Pulsation and Oscillation

Chapter 9: The Flow of Radiation Through the Atmosphere

Chapter 10: Solution of the Equation of Radiative Transfer

Chapter 11: Environment of the Radiation Field

Chapter 12: The Construction of a Model Stellar Atmosphere

Chapter 13: Formation of Spectral Lines

Chapter 14: Shape of Spectral Lines

Chapter 15: Breakdown of Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium

Chapter 16: Beyond the Normal Stellar Atmosphere


Modern Astrophysics (Carroll and Ostlie)

Stellar Structure and Evolution (Kippenhahn and Weigert)

Theoretical Astrophysics vol 2. (Padmanabhan)

Tapestry of Modern Astrophysics (Shore)

Physics of Fluids and Plasmas (Choudhuri)


This will be an informal and interactive course. Grading will be Pass/Fail.


(1) Class Project (choose topic early: mid term and final presentations on topic along with final paper)

(2) homework problems and/or exam (s)


Other Links: Astronomy picture of the day archive .