J. Michael Shull

ASTR 5110: Atomic & Molecular Processes

The two-semester sequence, ASTR 5110 and 5120, provides an introduction to the "Physics of Astrophysics" for first-year graduate students in APS. In the first semester, we cover aspects of applied quantum mechanics, spectroscopy, emission/absorption lines, ionization and thermal physics, kinetic theory, and statistical mechanics. The course will include numerous homework sets, which will be returned with solutions. The course grade will be based on: homework (60%), final exam (20%), final project and paper (10%), and the quality and effectiveness of class participation (10%). In class, we will discuss the broader implications of physical processes from the course to recent scientific papers, order-of-magnitude estimation, and oral discussion. The material for the first semester will include aspects of the following topics:

Introduction and Review of Quantum Mechanics:

Multi-electron spectroscopy:

Emission and Absorption Lines, Radiative Transitions, Opacities

Ionization, Excitation, Radiative Cooling

Molecular Physics and Spectroscopy

Review of Thermodynamics

Introduction to Statistical Mechanics

Micro-Canonical and Canonical Ensembles

Grand Canonical Ensemble

Quantum Statistics (Fermi-Dirac, Bose-Einstein)