Physics 606
Stars & Planets
Fall 2016

Prof. Tad Pryor
Room 302, Serin Physics Building, Busch Campus
Email: pryor[at]

Class meetings: Tuesday and Friday 12:00-1:20pm, ARC 203

Office hours: Monday 3:00 - 4:30 PM


This is an advanced graduate course designed for students pursuing research in astrophysics. We will study the physics of gas in extreme conditions and use it to understand the structure and evolution of stars. We will apply some of the same principles to planetary structure and atmospheres in order to understand ongoing work on extrasolar planets. We will develop the formal theory as much as possible and consider computational approaches as appropriate.


Here are some of the main sources we will use:

The approach to some of the foundations will reflect Chuck Keeton's advanced undergraduate textbook since he taught an earlier version of this course (you do not have to buy this; I will place a copy on reserve in the physics library): Here are some other resources:


Here is a preliminary list of topics for the course. A detailed schedule will be available on our Sakai site.


Astrophysicists use a wide range of analysis methods. You can expect to see all of the following methods in class and on homework assignments. (It is okay if some of these are new to you; the key is being willing to learn and practice.)


Collaboration, and academic integrity

Students with disabilities

If you have a disability, please let me know early in the semester so that we can make the necessary arrangements for you to have a successful learning experience. Please consult this web page for more details.

Astrophysics at RutgersDepartment of Physics and AstronomyRutgers University