Berkeley Astronomy 7A: Readings from Carroll & Ostlie

For readings from Ryden & Peterson (small blue book), go here instead.

The following are readings from Carroll & Ostlie (= CO = big orange book).

By Tuesday 8/28, please read:
• CO: Chapter 1: You can skim most of it, especially the discussion of history (unless you're a history buff!) But pay close attention to and understand Section 1.3, particularly the alt-az system, the equatorial coordinate system, and motions through the heavens, including spherical trigonometry on the sky.
By Thursday 8/30 (PS 1 due), please read:
• CO: Section 3.1, pages 57-59. Understand parallax. Understand Figure 3.2. Also Chapter 5, pages 111-113 (stop before "Spectrographs"). Understand (classical) Doppler shift.
By Tuesday 9/4, please read:
• CO: Sections 3.2, 3.3, and 3.4. Section 3.3 can be read lightly for now. Understand luminosity, flux, apparent magnitude, equation 3.2, equation 3.17, and equation 3.18. Understand the difference between equation 3.2 and equation 3.18.
By Thursday 9/6 (PS 2 due), please read:
• CO: Sections 3.5 and 3.6. Section 3.6 can be read lightly, but do appreciate Figure 3.10. Understand how to use the Planck function (do not worry about its derivation). Understand bolometric (adjective), Rayleigh-Jeans limit, Wien limit. Understand the difference between a spectrum measured per unit wavelength and per unit frequency.
By Tuesday 9/11, please read:
• CO: Sections 5.3 and 5.4, especially 5.3. Section 5.4 can be skimmed but do think about Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Understand the Bohr model and line transitions. Also pages 268-270 on line broadening mechanisms.
By Thursday 9/13 (PS 3 due), please read:
• CO: Section 9.2 through page 248 (do read "Continuum Opacity and the H- Ion"). Understand cross section, mean free path, opacity, optical depth, equation 9.12, equation 9.17, equation 9.18.
By Tuesday 9/18, please read:
• CO: Section 6.1. Pay especial attention to Figures 6.6 through 6.10, and Equation 6.6. Understand focal length, focal plane, plate scale, Airy disk, Rayleigh criterion, prime focus, "seeing". Also pages 113-116 on "Spectrographs".
By Thursday 9/20 (PS 4 due), please read:
• CO: Sections 6.2, 6.3, and 6.4. Understand quantum efficiency, CCD, interferometry, adaptive optics.
By Tuesday 9/25, please read:
• CO: Sections 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 on Kepler's Laws. Understand central force, aphelion distance formula (more generally "apoapse"), perihelion distance formula ("periapse")
By Thursday 9/27 (PS 5 due), please read:
• CO: Section 2.4 on the Virial Theorem.
By Tuesday 10/2, please catch up on all your reading.
Thursday 10/4: Midterm #1 in class.
By Tuesday 10/9, please read:
• CO: Sections 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3, especially equation 7.7 on the mass function. Read Section 7.4 if you are interested. Understand the various classes of binaries and pay attention to what is actually measurable in each case.
By Thursday 10/11 (PS 6 due), please read:
• CO: Section 8.1 up to page 213 (stop at "The Saha Equation"). Understand everything, especially equation 8.1 and 8.6.
By Tuesday 10/16, please read:
• CO: Finish reading all of Section 8.1, paying special attention to equations 8.7-8.9, and Figures 8.8, 8.9, and 8.11. Understand in Figure 8.9 why the number density of neutral H in the n=2 state is maximum for T = 9900 K.
By Thursday 10/18 (PS 7 due), please read:
• CO: Section 10.1 on hydrostatic equilibrium and mean molecular weight. Also page 250, equations 9.24-9.26. Understand X, Y, Z, metals, opacity.
By Tuesday 10/23, please read:
• CO: Section 10.2 on ideal gas pressure and radiation pressure. Also Section 8.2 on the Hertzprung-Russell diagram (absolute magnitude is one-to-one with luminosity, and spectral type is one-to-one with temperature).
By Thursday 10/25 (PS 8 due), please read:
• CO: Section 10.3 through page 302 (stop before "Nuclear Reaction Rates and the Gamow Peak"). Understand Kelvin-Helmholtz contraction luminosity and quantum tunneling.
By Tuesday 10/30, please read:
• CO: Section 10.3 from pages 308 to 315. Understand pp chain, and binding energy per nucleon. Also Section 9.3 on photons random walking (a.k.a. radiative diffusion).
By Thursday 11/1 (PS 9 due), please read:
• CO: Section 10.4 but only pages 315 to 316. Understand equation 10.68. Also read page 255 on the radiation pressure gradient.
By Tuesday 11/6, please read:
• CO: Section 10.4 pages 316-325 on convective energy transport. Understand adiabatic temperature gradient, and how convection requires a superadiabatic temperature gradient.
Thursday 11/8: Midterm #2 in class.
By Tuesday 11/13, please read:
• CO: Section 12.2 but only pages 412-413 on the Jeans mass and Jeans length.
• Handout from Chapter 8 of Shu's textbook, "The Physical Universe": Pages 144 to 147 only. You are strongly advised to solve Problem 8.1 on page 146.
By Thursday 11/15 (PS 10 due), please read:
• The following website from Nick Strobel: Lives and Deaths of Stars. Keep advancing to the "Next Section" until you hit the "Sections Review" page.
By Tuesday 11/20, please read:
• CO: Sections 16.2, 16.3, and 16.4, especially equations 16.8, 16.9, 16.10, 16.11, and 16.16. Make sure you understand why there is a dynamical instability when the electrons become relativistic.
By Tuesday 11/27, please read:
• More from Nick Strobel's website, starting from Stellar Remnants. Keep advancing to the "Next Section" until you hit the "Sections Review" page.
• CO: Section 16.6 on neutron stars / pulsars especially pages 578-580, pages 584-585, pages 590-594 (skim the rest). Also Section 17.3 on black holes but only from 633 to 635 (stop at equation 17.27).
By Thursday 11/29 (PS 11 due), please read:
• CO: Skim Section 15.2. Read Section 15.3 through the top of page 537. Also skim Section 18.4 on accreting white dwarfs through page 480. Finally skim Section 18.5 on Type Ia supernovae.
Congratulations! You have finished all the readings of Astro 7A and should be ready to go supernova with all the knowledge you have gained this semester!

Last modified: Tue Aug 21 15:02:01 PDT 2012