Professor: Caty Pilachowski
Office: 315 Swain West
Office hours: By appointment (or just stop in)
Class meetings: M-W, 11:15-12:30 PM in SW318. Keep an eye on the schedule, since a number of classes may be rescheduled due to travel.
Textbook: David F. Gray, The observation and analysis of stellar photospheres, 3rd edition
Additional recommended reading:
Overview: We will work through most of the chapters in Gray's book
covering the basics of stellar atmospheres, including energy transport
(radiative and convective), continuous absorption, model stellar
atmospheres, and stellar continua. Integrated with this material, we
will explore real stars across the HR diagram through "review talks".
Each student will be expected to present one review talk during the course.
Required work: In addition to the assigned reading (which should be completed before the class for which it is assigned), we will have the following work assignments. Collaboration with other students on homework assignments is encouraged.
Review talk: Please select your topic (first come, first served) to cover a category of stars in the HR diagram or a particular star or group of stars of astrophysical importance. Topics must be selected by January 17. Dates for review talks will be scheduled to match material covered in the text, to the extent it is possible to do so. Review talks should be about 25 minutes long, and should be based on a recent review paper in Annual Reviews or a comparable source, plus other key references on the topic (check with me once you have identified the review paper and other key references - at least a week before you are scheduled to present your talk). The topical lecture should include:
Research Project: A list of suitable research projects will be provided
later. If you have a project you would particularly like to do, please
see me. The project should not be one you are already working on or
planning to work on for other credit, and it should be in an area different
from your own planned research. Projects will generally involve analysis of
stellar data, either imaging or spectroscopy, although theoretical projects
are also acceptable. Projects will be presented as 5-minute AAS talks near
the end of the semester, possibly as part of our Friday Lunch series.
Exams: Two take-home exams will be given, as well as a 2-hour comprehensive final. Exams will be open-book and open note, but should not be done collaboratively. The final will be closed book and will mimic the format of the qualifying exam.
Grading: Grades will be assigned based on the following weighting scheme:
Final Comment: If you have concerns about this class, please come and
see me before they become problems! If it's too easy, too hard, or just not
your cup of tea, I need to know.