ASTROPHYSICS II (Physics 822)
            Winter 2007 (Revised January 18)
Instructor:            Dr. Michael L. Sitko
Office:                446 Geology-Physics
Hours:                 M@10-11, Th @ 11-Noon, or by appointment
Phone:                 556-0642                    Email:
Class Notes: 

This course is designed to provide a basic foundation in stellar astrophysics. The main
topics will include: Basic Observed properties of Stars, the Physics of Stellar
Atmospheres, and Stellar Structure and Evolution.

This class will include both graduate students and qualified undergraduates, and the
requirements will be slightly different for the two groups. Both graduates and
undergraduates will be required to understand the material at the level presented in the
textbook An Introduction to the Theory of Stellar Structure and Evolution by Prialnik and
to do homework problems assigned by me at the level of that book. Graduate students
will also be given some additional problems to work on. All homework problems will be
due 1 week from the time that they are assigned.

All students will be responsible for knowing the material presented orally in class.
Graduate students will also be required to understand all the material at the level of the
lecture notes (some of which will only be glossed over briefly in class). The lecture notes
will be posted at my web page at

I am also considering, time permitting, having each graduate student present a short (15
minute) talk on some aspect of stellar astrophysics, based on reading one or two recent
articles. I will keep you informed about this.

Grades will be determined by the cumulative scores on your homework, final exam and
for graduate students your presentations (if we actually do this). Approximately half of
your grade will be from the homework exercises, and half from the exam (and
presentation). However, this weighting is subject to modification at a later time, as I see

I can almost always be reached via email at or,
The latter address is one that I can usually access more easily from any location with a
high-speed internet connection.

PHONE:         556-0642 (office)              871-4169 (home)

Week                    Subject                    Textbook Readings       Lecture Notes

  1     Basic Observed Properties of Stars                Ch. 1              1, 2, 3

  2     Equilibrium, Equation of State                                         4, 5, 6
        The Radiation Field
  3     Equation of Transfer, Atomic                                       7, 8, 9, 10, 11
        Gray Atmosphere, Spectral Lines                                  12, 13, (14), (15)
  4     Equations of Stellar Structure                 Ch. 2 & 3              16, 17

  5     Simple Models, Energy Production             Ch. 4 & 5 & 6           18, 19, 20
        Energy Transport
  6     The Sun, Solar Neutrinos                         7 & 8.3             21, 22, 23
        More on Stellar Structure
  7     Star Formation and Pre-Main                        8.1                     24
        Sequence Evolution

  8     Main Sequence and Post-Main                 8.2, 8.4-8.7, 8.9          25, 26
        Sequence Evolution

  9     Stellar Remnants                            8.8, 8.10, 9.1-9.6             27

 10     Comparison of Theory & Observations                                    28, 29
        (detailed), Brown Dwarfs

Mon. March 12 1:30-3:30 PM                   Final Exam

Much of the lecture material in Week 1 will be a review of topics covered at the
beginning of the Fall quarter, and the lecture notes will look quite familiar!

I want to cover some basics of stellar atmospheres & spectral line formation in Weeks 2
& 3. This is not covered in your textbook, however, so you will have to rely on the class
notes alone for this.

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