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).

• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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".
• CO: Sections 6.2, 6.3, and 6.4. Understand quantum efficiency, CCD, interferometry, adaptive optics.
• 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")
• CO: Section 2.4 on the Virial Theorem.
Thursday 10/4: Midterm #1 in class.
• 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.
• CO: Section 8.1 up to page 213 (stop at "The Saha Equation"). Understand everything, especially equation 8.1 and 8.6.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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).
• CO: Section 10.3 through page 302 (stop before "Nuclear Reaction Rates and the Gamow Peak"). Understand Kelvin-Helmholtz contraction luminosity and quantum tunneling.
• 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).
• CO: Section 10.4 but only pages 315 to 316. Understand equation 10.68. Also read page 255 on the radiation pressure gradient.
Thursday 11/8: Midterm #2 in class.
• 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.