Stars and Stellar Explosions - PHYS-GA-2054.001
Instructur: Prof. Maryam Modjaz
Time & Place: Tuesday, Thursday 12:30-1:45pm, Classroom 433 (may change, TBA)
Stars and Stellar Explosions are the basic building blocks of galaxies and play a pivotal role in the evolution of structure in the universe, in the nucleosynthesis of most elements, in the formation of compact objects (white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes), and as fundamental tools for measuring the early conditions and expansion of the universe over cosmic time (e.g., with Type Ia SNe and Gamma-Ray bursts). This course will cover the observations and physics of stars and of their explosions. Primary topics will include energy transport and nuclear fusion in stars, stellar evolution and their deaths. The course will emphasize physical understanding and current open research problems, as well as connecting basic principles to observations. No previous coursework in astronomy is required, but a minimum of standard undergrad-level advanced physics courses (theromdynamics, QM, etc), and interest in awesome science encouraged.
Throughout the semester, we'll have 4 journal discussions based on current papers (which are posted below). Everyone is expected to read the papers, and 1-2 people will be assigned to be the discussion leaders. The leaders will prepare a journal-club style presentation (Powerpoint, Keynote, or PDF) about the papers to guide the discussion, which should last a total of around 30 minutes. The presentations should place the papers in context, explain the basic physics involved, highlight the main results, and critically assess the conclusions.
Below are the 5 journal articles, as well as good introductions and reviews into the field by articles published in the Annual Reviews of Astronomy & Astrophysics (ARAA) and/or in books.