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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
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.