A540 Stellar Atmospheres Spring 2005

Professor: Caty Pilachowski

Office: 315 Swain West

Office hours: By appointment (or just stop in)

Email: catyp@astro.indiana.edu

Class meetings: M-W, 12:00-1:10 PM and Friday 11:00-11:50 in SW219 or the conference room. Keep an eye on the schedule, since a number of classes are rescheduled due to travel.

Textbook: David F. Gray, The observation and analysis of stellar photospheres
Additional recommended reading:


Overview: We will spend the first third of the course covering the basics of stellar atmospheres, including energy transport (radiative and convective), continuous absorption, model stellar atmospheres, and stellar continua. The second third of the course will cover stellar spectra, abundance determinations, and stellar compositions, including a tour through the stellar zoo. The final third will include advanced topics such as stellar activity, NLTE, stellar velocity fields, chromospheres, coronae, and winds and mass loss.

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.


Exams: Two take-home exams will be given, as well as a 2-hour comprehensive final, scheduled as follows. Exams will be open-book, open note, but should not be done collaboratively. The final will be closed book.


Grading: Grades will be assigned based on the following weighting scheme:


Topical Lecture: Please select your topic (first come, first served) from the list below, or see me if you want to select a different topic. Also let me know the date you would like to present your topical lecture (one of the unscheduled dates in the class schedule). Topical lectures should be about 25 minutes long, and should be based on a recent review paper plus other key references on the topic (please check with me once you have identified the review paper). The topical lecture should include:


Suggested topics include stellar rotation, stellar activity, winds and mass loss, white dwarf spectra and atmospheres, M, L and T dwarfs, non-LTE, metal poor stars, pulsating stars, asteroseismology, supergiants, Wolf-Rayet stars, AGB stars, post-AGB stars, peculiar A stars, pre-main sequence stars.

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.

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.

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