Blackboard lectures of the year 2013

The courses are organized in reverse order of time.

Quarter 4B: Interactive Stellar Evolution: create your own star | Prof. Rob Izzard & Dr. Richard Stancliffe | home


Lecture 1: Dec. 03 at 10:00 in 0.01:

Introduction to stellar structure:
Early models of our Sun (Kelvin’s and chemical models).
Stellar structure equations and the physics knowledge required for stellar evolution. The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.
The zero-age main sequence as a function of mass and composition. | video

Lecture 2: Dec. 05 at 10:00 in 0.01:

Nuclear burning in stars:
Main sequence evolution and central temperature-density evolution. Nuclear reaction networks (pp, CNO, He-burning etc.). Nucleosynthesis, the origin of the

Lecture 3: Dec. 06 at 10:00 in 0.01:

Mixing in stars:
Stability criteria.
Convection (Schwarzschild, Ledoux).
Mixing length theory.
Modernhydrodynamical simulations.
Thermohaline mixing.
Rotational instabilities and their effect on massive star evolution. video

Lecture 4: Dec. 10 at 10:00 in 0.02:

Pre- and post-main sequence evolution:
Star formation, pre-main sequence evolution and the Hayashi track. Post-main sequence evolution and the final fate of stars.
Stellar yields.
Galactic chemical

Lecture 5: Dec. 12 at 10:00 in 0.01:

Binary and multiple stars:
Fundamental properties of binary stars.
Number of stars with companions, distributions.
Unique evolutionary paths of binary stars.
The oldest stars in old Galaxy and their dead companions. Type Ia supernovae.
Thermonuclear novae.


  1. TheAIfAStarsandStellarEvolutioncourse∼nlanger/siu_web/teach_sse.html
  2. AnIntroductiontotheTheoryofStellarStructureandEvolution.D.Prialnik.ISBN-10:0521866049 
ISBN-13: 978-0521866040
  3. Stellar Structure and Evolution. R. Kippenhahn and A. Weigert ISBN-10: 3540580131 ISBN- 13: 978-3540580133
  4. Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis. D. Clayton. ISBN-10: 0226109534 ISBN- 13: 978-0226109534
  5. An Introduction to Close Binary Stars. R.W. Hilditch. ISBN-10: 0521241065 ISBN-13: 978- 0521241069

Quarter 4A: Astrophysical Spectroscopy | Dr. Silvia Leurini


Lecture 1: November 07 at 10:00 in 0.01:

General Introduction: basics of molecular spectroscopy; classification of molecular symmetries; rotational and vibrational energy level structure. | video

Lecture 2: November 13 at 10:00 in 0.01:

Einstein's coefficients; absorption coefficient; line profiles; equivalent width; curve of growth analysis. | video

Lecture 3: November 14 at 10:00 in 0.01:

Radiative transfer equations; LTE, escape probability method; determinations of column densities and optical depth;  rotational diagrams | video

Lecture 4: November 15 at 09:00 in 0.02:

Tools to investigate spectral datacubes: visual inspection of data, moment analysis, PV diagrams | video


  1. Spectra of atoms and molecules, P.F. Bernath
  2. Spectrophysics: Principles and Applications, Thorne, Litzen, Johansson
  3. Astronomical masers, M. Elitzur
  4. Physical Conditions in Regions of Star Formation, Evans 1999, ARA&A 37, 311
  5. Molecular Column Density Calculation, from Mangum & Shirley (

Quarter 3: Electromagnetic and Gravitational RadiativeProcesses | Dr. Dr. Kejia Li


Lecture 1: Oct. 01 at 10:00 in 0.01:

Introduction, Review of electrodynamics: Maxwellequation - Lienard-Wiechertpotentials – Single particle radiation - description of radiation – polarization, beam pattern, and spectrum | video

Lecture 2: Oct. 02 at 10:00 in 0.01:

Thermal radiation and radiation transfer : Black-body radiation and Bose-Einstein distribution - Brightness temperature, color temperature, and effective temperature  - Flux, energy density, and intensity of radiation - Einstein coefficients, Radiation, absorption, and optical depth – Radiation transfer - Scattering, Kompaneets equation | video

Lecture 3: Oct. 04 at 10:00 in 0.01:

Wave propagation in plasma: Debye length and Plasma frequency - Dielectric tensor, dispersion relation, CMA diagram - Dispersion, Faraday rotation, and Tsytovitch-Razin Effect - Cherenkov radiation | video

Lecture 4: Oct. 08 at 10:00 in 0.01: 

Cyclotron, Synchrotron and curvature radiation: Cyclotron radiation - Synchrotron radiation - Curvature radiation - The unified framework | video

Lecture 5: Oct. 09 at 10:00 in 0.01: 

Compton and inverse Compton scattering: Thompson scattering - Compton scattering - Inverse Compton scattering - Pair processes - Eddington limit, Bremsstrahlung, Spectral line: | video

Lecture 6: Oct. 10 at 10:00 in 0.01: 

Gravitational wave radiation: Order-of-magnitude treatments - Quadrupole formula - Polarization of gravitational wave - Binary evolution and why we need numerical relativity - Gravitational wave detection | video


Watch lecture 1. 

Quarter 1: Scientific Writing | Prof. Rob Izzard


The Scientific Writing course consists of weekly two-hour classes which will be held from 10(.15)am-12pm every Wednesday at the Argelander Institute for Astronomy, room 0.008. The classes consist of approximately 45 minutes of tutorial followed by interactive exercises. You are expected to take your own notes although class slides are provided in digital form (see the timetable below). The course does not carry credit points but the assignments may be tied in to other (credit-worthy) coursework and hence prove invaluable in the writing of your upcoming thesis. The course is taught primarily by Robert Izzard. Please use the feedback page : the login code will be given out in the class.

If you are interested in coming to the course, please email  as soon as possible. Because space is limited in room 0.008, priority will go to those who are Masters students or who are serious about following the whole course.

Good communication is the key to making yourself known in the scientific world. If you cannot write, and cannot write well, your papers will struggle to to make an impact - assuming they are published at all.

Why do so many good scientists struggle to put their thoughts on to paper? This course aims to overcome that hurdle, to show that because you are a scientist you can think and write in a logical, clear and precise way. Most of the course is about how to structure your articles, but a sizeable fraction is also about style and the English language. Classes are mostly interactive with the emphasis on learning by doing.


For the exact schedule visit the course web site 


  3. See the book list below:
  4. Information on my availability for editing your work
Go to Editor View