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PHY 7097

Modern Astrophysics - Spring 2018

Lectures: MWF 4:05-4:55pm (period 9) in NPB 1101

Instructor: Imre Bartos
 Office:    NPB 2025
 Email:    imrebartos (at) ufl.edu  Phone:    +1 (352) 392-9717

Office hours: by appointment


The URL for faculty evaluations is https://evaluations.ufl.edu

PREREQUISITE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS: Undergraduate math (derivation, integration) and undergraduate physics is required.

PURPOSE OF COURSE: The purpose of this course is to introduce students to some of the key phenomena and questions in modern astrophysics. We will cover compact objects such as black holes, neutron stars, and their emission mechanisms, as well as modern, large-scale observatories that were built to learn more about them (gravitational waves, neutrinos, gamma-rays and others).

COURSE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: The course will give you an understanding of some of the main, actively researched topics in astrophysics. It will give you an understanding of the frontiers, where the field is going, as well as some of the modern observational tools.

GRADING: The final grade will be based on homework (30%) and a final exam (70%). Instead of taking the final exam, a student may give a lecture on an agreed-upon topic related to the course material.


Week 1.     Stars' end

Possible ends of stellar life cycles, including white dwarfs, core collapse, and disintegration.

Week 2.     Neutron Stars

What neutron stars are, how they are formed, and their properties. Neutron star equation of state.

Week 3.     Black holes

What black holes are, how they are formed, and their properties. Schwarzschild radius, spin, charge, mass, hair.

Week 4.     Supernovae

Types, explosion mechanisms, emission properties, remnants.

Week 5.     Accretion

Gas accretion onto black holes or neutron stars. Origin of accreted gas, geometry (Bondi/disk).

Week 6.     Astrophysical particle acceleration

Relativistic outflows, their formation, and how they accelerate particles. Cosmic rays, gamma rays, high-energy neutrinos.

Week 7.     Gamma-ray bursts

History, properties, populations.

Week 8.     Afterglow emission

Origin, properties.

Week 9.     High-energy observatories

Most important observatories that detect cosmic rays, gamma rays, and high-energy neutrinos; observation principles.

Week 10.   The high-energy Universe

What has been observed, observational techniques, open questions. Cosmic rays, gamma rays, high-energy neutrinos.

Week 11.   Gravitational waves

Definition, detection, astrophysical production.

Week 12.   Compact binaries

Formation channels, properties, eccentricity.

Week 13.   Searching for gravitational waves

Search techniques, challenges.

Week 14.   Kilonovae

...and other emission from compact binary mergers.

Week 15.   Cosmology with gravitational waves

Week 16.   Multimessenger astrophysics and open questions

DISCLAIMER: This syllabus represents the Prof. Bartos' current plans and objectives. As we go through the semester, those plans may need to change to enhance the class learning opportunity. Such changes, communicated clearly, are not unusual and should be expected.