Astrophysics and the Standard Model: Notes
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Due Wednesday, January 9:

Skim at least the Table of Contents for Chapters 1 - 5 in the text, and come with any questions you'd like addressed before we move on to our discussion of stars.

Due Monday, January 14:

Read Chapter 7, pp 180-201.
Due Monday, January 14
You have each chosen a frequency range. Find the top 1 - 3 telescopes/detectors (more if you choose) currently existing to detect astrophysical signals in that frequency range. Bring a thumb drive or send me weblinks showing images of the devices themselves and some of the resulting imagery. Possible frequency ranges include radio, microwave, infrared, visible (don't miss the GMT), ultraviolet, x-ray, gamma rays. You may also choose neutrino or cosmic ray detectors. Be prepared to present your findings briefly in class (3 - 5 minutes; you'll be cut off after half an hour if you get carried away).

In class, Mon, Jan 28 and Wed, Jan 30:

Some basics of the Standard Model and General Relativity, with applications in neutrino and gravitational astronomy.

Due Monday, January 28

Come to class with potential topics for your term project. On Monday we will narrow the choices.

Due over next two weeks:

Read Chapters 8, 10, and 13. Focus on how we use the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram to learn about stellar evolution, on the different nucleosynthesis reactions that power stars, and on stellar evolution along the main sequence. We will discuss the final stages of stellar evolution in more detail in class. Come with questions on the readings.

Wednesday, Feb 6: The Search for the Higgs

Powerpoint: The Search for the Higgs

Monday, Feb 11:

The Higgs mechanism

Wednesday, Feb 13:

Mixed topics:
  1. Video: LIGO: LIGO
  2. Project update: Options: In-class discussion or office meetings
  3. The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram (see readings in text, above, and online, below)
Read the Wikipedia article on the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram: Hertzsprung-Russell diagram

Monday, Feb 18: (Ch 8)

The Hertzsprung-Russell diagram and stellar evolution

Upcoming reading and approximate discussions:

Monday, Feb 25: Variable stars

Wednesday, Feb 27: Evolution of low and intermediate mass stars; White dwarfs

Monday, Mar 4: Evolution of high mass stars: Supernovae, Neutron stars.

Wednesday, Mar 6: General relativity and Black holes

Monday, March 25: Tyler: Compact binaries

Wednesday, March 25: Cosmology

Project presentations:

Term projects should be at least 25 minutes of clear, concise presentation but you may take the full hour and a quarter if the detail and quality of your presentation warrant it. Questions, discussion, and continued detail are unlimited as long as the discussion remains beneficial to group as a whole.
The date for each of your projects is estimated in this table. The date is the earliest you will be called on to give your presentation, but if the preceding talks run long your time may shift later.
March 25
April 3
April 8
April 8
April 10
April 15
April 17
April 22