Astronomy 623: Stellar Interiors & Evolution
- Historical introduction: The evolution of ideas about stellar structure and evolution. A panoramic view of the lives of low-mass and massive stars.
- Modeling stars: Basic stellar quantities (masses, abundances, abundances, luminosities, radii, temperatures) and observational sources of information about these quantities. Different ways of testing stellar models.
- Pressure integral: Ideal gas law, specific heats, adiabatic processes, radiation pressure. Degenerate matter, non-relativistic and extremely relativistic.
- Hydrostatic equilibrium: Virial theorem, dynamical and thermal timescales, polytropes. Mass-radius relation for white dwarfs and the Chandrasekhar mass limit.
- Radiative transport in stellar interiors: Opacity, Rosseland mean, Kramer's law. Convective instability and the mixing length model. Overshoot, convective mixing, mass-luminosity relations for radiative and convective stars. The Hayashi line.
- Nuclear energy generation: Non-resonant and resonant reaction rates. Gamow peak. H burning, p-p chains, and CNO bi-cycle. Deuterium abundance and the Big-Bang connection. He burning. AGB nucleosynthesis. More advanced burning stages.
- Numerical techniques: Application of Runge-Kutta to the Lane-Emden polytropic equation. The full set of differential equations for stellar structure. Henyey relaxation method and linearization. Dealing with the time derivatives: stellar evolution.
- Star formation: Jeans mass and pre-main-sequence evolution. Brown dwarfs. Evolution on the main sequence. Departure from the main sequence. Shell-burning law and red giants. He ignition. Cepheids and RR Lyrae stars.
- Late stages in the evolution of low- and intermediate-mass stars: AGB, mass loss, planetary nebulae, post-AGB evolution, white dwarf cooling and cosmochronology.
- Interpretation of cluster diagrams: Isochrones. Age determination of globular clusters.
- Binary systems and stellar evolution: Roche lobes, Algol "paradox," mass transfer. Semidetached binaries: accretion disks, dwarf novae, recurrent and classical novae. X-ray binaries. Common-envelope evolution. Blue stragglers.
- Supernovae: Historical introduction, spectral classification. Carbon explosion SNe and core-collapse SNe. Final review of nucleosynthesis.
This outline is representative only, and is likely to
change from instructor to instructor and from year to