Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Description

This course addresses a range of topics, including:

  • Size and Time Scales
  • Historical Astronomy
  • Astronomical Instrumentation
  • Stars
    • Spectra
    • Classification
  • Stellar Structure Equations and Survey of Stellar Evolution
  • Stellar Oscillations
  • Degenerate and Collapsed Stars
    • Radio Pulsars
  • Interacting Binary Systems
    • Accretion Disks
    • X-ray Sources
  • Gravitational Lenses
    • Dark Matter
  • Interstellar Medium
    • HII Regions
    • Supernova Remnants
    • Molecular Clouds
    • Dust
    • Radiative Transfer
    • Jeans' Mass
    • Star Formation
  • High-energy Astrophysics
    • Compton Scattering
    • Bremsstrahlung
    • Synchrotron Radiation
    • Cosmic Rays
  • Galactic Stellar Distributions and Populations
    • Oort Constants
    • Oort Limit
    • Globular Clusters


Buy at Amazon Hansen, Carl J., Steven D. Kawaler, and Virginia Trimble. Stellar Interiors: Physical Principles, Structure and Evolution. New York, NY: Springer, 2004. ISBN: 9780387200897.

Buy at Amazon Carroll, Bradley W., and Dale A. Ostlie. An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub., 1995. ISBN: 9780201547306.

Buy at Amazon Kippenhahn, Rudolf, and Alfred Weigert. Stellar Structure and Evolution. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 1990. ISBN: 9780387502113.

Buy at Amazon Shapiro, Stuart L., and Saul A. Teukolsky. Black Holes, White Dwarfs, and Neutron Stars. New York, NY: Wiley, 1983. ISBN: 9780471873167.


Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (8.044), Quantum Mechanics II (8.05), or permission of the instructor.

Grading Policy

Problem Sets 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40%