Physics 223 Stellar Structure and Evolution
Energy generation, flow, hydrostatic equilibrium, equation of state. Dependence of stellar parameters (central surface temperature, radius, luminosity, etc.) on stellar mass and relation to physical constants. Relationship of these parameters to the H-R diagram and stellar evolution. Stellar interiors, opacity sources, radiative and convective energy flow. Nuclear reactions, neutrino processes. Polytropic models. White dwarfs and neutron stars.
Physics 224 Physics of the Interstellar Medium
Gaseous nebulae, molecular clouds, ionized regions, and dust. Low energy processes in neutral and ionized gases. Interaction of matter with radiation, emission and absorption processes, formation of atomic lines. Energy balance, steady state temperatures, and the physics and properties of dust. Masers and molecular line emission. Dynamics and shocks in the interstellar medium.
Physics 225A-B General Relativity
Topics covered in the first quarter include special relativity, differential geometry, the equivalence principle, the Einstein field equations, and experimental and observational tests of gravitation theories. The second quarter will focus on more advanced topics, including gravitational collapse, Schwarzschild and Kerr geometries, black holes, gravitational radiation, cosmology, and quantum gravitation.
Physics 226 Galaxies and Galactic Dynamics
The structure and dynamics of galaxies. Topics include potential theory, the theory of stellar orbits, self-consistent equilibria of stellar systems, stability and dynamics of stellar systems including relaxation and approach to equilibrium. Collisions between galaxies, galactic evolution, dark matter, and galaxy formation.
Physics 227 Cosmology
An advanced survey of topics in physical cosmology. The Friedmann models and the large-scale structure of the universe, including the observational determination of Ho (the Hubble parameter) and qo (the deceleration parameter). Galaxy number counts. A systematic exposition of the physics of the early universe, including vacuum phase transitions; inflation; the generation of net baryon number, fluctuations, topological defects and textures. Primordial nucleosynthesis, both standard and nonstandard models. Growth and decay of adiabatic and isocurvature density fluctuations. Discussion of dark matter candidates and constraints from observation and experiment. Nucleocosmo-chronology and the determination of the age of the universe.
Physics 228 High Energy Astrophysics and Compact Objects
The physics of compact objects, including the equation of state of dense matter and stellar stability theory. Maximum mass of neutron stars, white dwarfs, and super-massive objects. Black holes and accretion disks. Compact x-ray sources and transient phenomena, including x-ray and g-ray bursts. The fundamental physics of electromagnetic radiation mechanisms: synchrotron radiation, Compton scattering, thermal and nonthermal bremsstrahlung, pair production. Pulsars. Particle acceleration models. Neutrino production and energy loss mechanisms. Supernovae and neutron star production.
ECE 220 Space Plasma Physics
The nature of the solar wind interaction with different planets and comets leads to a variety of magnetospheres. This course will deal with both nature of the solar wind as well as these interactions.
ECE 281 Special Topics in Radio and Space Science
A course to be given at the discretion of the faculty at which topics of interest in radio and space science will be presented by visiting or resident faculty members. It will not be repeated so it may be taken for credit more than once.