Phone: 732-445-5500 x2544
Office hours: Monday 2:00-3:30 (or by appointment)
The only required textbook is The Physics and Chemistry of the Interstellar Medium by Xander Tielens, copies of which should be available in the bookstore. I have also ordered copies of Radiative Processes in Astrophysics by George Rybicki and Alan Lightman, which I strongly encourage you to purchase, as it will be useful in this course as well as Physics 612 next year.
I will also draw material as needed from Osterbrock & Ferland, Astrophysics of Gaseous Nebulae and Active Galactic Nuclei and from Spitzer, Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium; these (together with Rybicki & Lightman) are or soon will be on reserve in the physics library.
Here's the official course catalog listing:
"Structure of the interstellar medium: its molecular, neutral atomic, and plasma phases. Radiative transfer, dust, particle acceleration, magnetic Fields, and cosmic rays. Effects of supernovae, shock fronts, and star formation."
I plan to broaden this list of topics to include the intergalactic medium; in general, I will try to highlight subjects that are important to areas of current research in extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology (e.g., galaxy formation, the enrichment of the intergalactic medium, and the reionization of the universe).
Schedule Both the sequence of lectures and the assignment due dates are preliminary at this point; I will update them as needed during the course of the semester. The last two lectures are tentatively reserved for ISM-related topics to be chosen sometime after spring break by the students who are officially enrolled in the course. These will give you an opportunity to make me sweat, thus exacting revenge for a semester's worth of problem sets.
I will include in the schedule the dates of any local talks that are relevant to the subject matter of this course. Attendance is encouraged but not required!
|1||Jan 19||chemical composition of the ISM||---|
|2||Jan 21||radiative transfer||RL ch 1|
|3||Jan 26||bremsstrahlung||RL ch 5||PS1|
|4||Jan 28||synchrotron emission||RL ch 6|
|5||Feb 2||line emission; HI||T ch 2||PS2|
|6||Feb 4||HII regions||T ch 7|
|7||Feb 9||atomic structure; recombination lines||RL ch 9 & 10||PS3|
|8||Feb 11||collisional excitation||T ch 2|
|9||Feb 16||HeII regions||T ch 7||PS4|
|10||Feb 18||nebular emission-line diagnostics||T ch 7|
|11||Feb 19||thermal equilibrium in ionized gas||T ch 2, 3, & 7|
|12||Feb 23||thermal equilibrium in neutral gas; phases of the ISM||T ch 2, 3, & 8||PS5|
|Feb 24||Mark Devlin, University of Pennsylvania:|
|Where Did Half the Starlight in the Universe Go?|
|13||Feb 25||interstellar dust (1)||T ch 5|
|14||Mar 3||interstellar dust (2)||T ch 5||PS6|
|15||Mar 4||interstellar dust (3) + molecular bonding||T ch 5; RL ch 11|
|16||Mar 11||molecular spectroscopy||RL ch 11||mid-term paper|
|17||Mar 23||molecular clouds||T ch 10||PS7 [short]|
|18||Mar 25||PDRs and molecular chemistry||T ch 4, 6, & 9|
|19||Mar 30||interstellar magnetic fields||S ch 10 & 11||PS8|
|20||Apr 1||formation of individual stars||S ch 13|
|Apr 2||Sheila Kannappan, University of North Carolina|
|21||Apr 6||interstellar shocks||T ch 11||PS9|
|22||Apr 8||interstellar turbulence||---|
|23||Apr 13||stellar winds and supernova blast waves||T ch 12||PS10|
|24||Apr 15||the three-phase model of the ISM||T ch 8|
|25||Apr 20||star formation on galaxy scales||---||PS11|
|26||Apr 22||feedback on galaxy scales||---|
|27||Apr 27||student choice: TBD||---||PS12|
|28||Apr 29||student choice: TBD||---|
Grading Your course grade will be based on a weighted combination of three elements:
The mid-term paper will be a ~5pp review of the contents of a particular set of literature papers and references therein (and/or citations thereof) that address a single ISM-related topic. I will provide sets of papers for several such topics, although if none of these look sufficiently interesting then you may suggest your own theme. This should be a critical review, showing that you have thought about what you've read and are not merely repeating it, and written at a level that your classmates could understand.
The final exam will be closed-book and closed-note. The questions on the exam will be drawn from (a) the problem sets, and (b) an additional list that I will provide you with in advance; they will not cover the topics of the "student choice" lectures.