Berkeley Astronomy 7A: Readings from Ryden & Peterson

For readings from Carroll & Ostlie (big orange book), go here instead.

The following are readings from Ryden & Peterson (= RP = small blue book).

• RP: Chapter 1: Skim pages 1-15, but be sure to understand the terms celestial sphere; altitude; azimuth; right ascension; declination; ecliptic; "equinox 2000.0". Understand Figures 1.6 and 1.8. Chapter 2: Read pages 29-33.
• RP: Chapter 2: pages 37-38. Understand parallax. Understand Figure 2.5. Also Section 19.3: pages 444-448. Understand Doppler shift, radial velocity, proper motion, space velocity.
• RP: Chapter 13: pages 307-318. Understand luminosity, flux, apparent magnitude, absolute magnitude, bolometric (adjective), bandwidth, differential flux (a.k.a. flux density), atmospheric extinction, interstellar extinction. Understand Figures 13.1, 13.2. Do not worry about equations 13.27-13.40 as we will have no use for them.
• RP: Chapter 5: Starting from equation 5.86 (do not worry about the derivation) on page 139, read pages 140-143. Understand the Rayleigh-Jeans limit of the Planck function; the Wien limit of the Planck function; equation 5.96 for the flux at the surface of a blackbody; equation 5.98 for the bolometric luminosity of a spherical blackbody. Understand the difference between a spectrum measured per unit wavelength and a spectrum measured per unit frequency. NOTE: RP uses I_nu for the Planck function, whereas in lecture we will use B_nu for the Planck function. In lecture we reserve the variable I_nu for a generic specific intensity not necessarily that of a blackbody.
• RP: Chapter 5: pages 111-118. Also Section 5.4 on page 127-130. Understand everything.
• RP: Chapter 5: Sections 5.2 and 5.3 from pages 118-127. Do not worry about the equations from 5.27 onward; we will deal with them in other contexts later. Understand photoexcitation, photoionization, collisional ionization, recombination, Kirchoff's laws. Understand qualitatively the various ways that line transitions can be broadened.
• RP: Chapter 6: pages 146-159. Understand focal length, focal plane, plate scale, Airy disk, prime focus, point spread function, "seeing."
• RP: Chapter 6: Section 6.4 pages 159-161. Understand quantum efficiency, CCD, spectrograph, interferometry, grazing incidence mirrors, adaptive optics. Also Sections 6.6-6.7, pages 165-170. Understand Figure 6.17.
• RP: Section 2.5 on Kepler's Laws pages 50-52. Also Chapter 3: pages 61-72. Understand central force, equation 3.42, aphelion distance formula (more generally "apoapse"), perihelion distance formula ("periapse").
• RP: Finish Chapter 3: pages 72-80. Note that equation 3.60 is a valid expression for the orbital energy but there is a simpler form that we will derive in class. Understand how to use the virial theorem (equation 3.87).
Thursday 10/4: Midterm #1 in class.
• RP: All of Section 13.5. Also Section 12.3 but only pages 296--302. Understand Figures 12.5 and 12.6. Understand visual binary, spectroscopic binary (single-lined versus double-lined), eclipsing binary. Pay attention to what is actually being measured in each case.
• RP: All of Section 5.6. We will treat the Boltzmann equation, the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, and the Saha equation in much greater detail in lecture.
• RP: All of Section 14.2, and review Figure 5.13. Understand in Figure 5.13 why the number density of neutral H in the n=2 state is maximum for T = 10000 K. Also pages 213--217 on hydrostatic equilibrium. Understand mean molecular mass (a.k.a. mean molecular weight) and scale height.
• RP: All of Sections 14.1 (review of hydrostatic equilibrium and mean molecular weight) and 14.3 (review of optical depth and opacity). Understand X, Y, Z, metals, opacity.
• RP: Section 14.4 on Hertzprung-Russell diagram (absolute magnitude is one-to-one with luminosity, and spectral type is one-to-one with temperature). Section 15.1 but only through the notion of radiation pressure in equation 15.13. Understand how to estimate the central pressure and central temperature of the Sun.
• RP: All of Section 15.2. Understand Kelvin-Helmholtz contraction luminosity.
• RP: All of Section 15.3 but skip or skim equation 15.61--15.69. Understand pp chain, quantum mechanical tunneling. Also pages 371--373. Understand random walk (a.k.a. diffusion) and equation 15.90.
• RP: Section 15.1.2. Understand energy transport by radiative diffusion. Understand equations 15.21, 15.23, and 15.32.
• RP: Section 15.1.3 on convective energy transport. Understand adiabatic temperature gradient.
Thursday 11/8: Midterm #2 in class.