Internal Processes-2 : Spring 2004



TIME AND PLACE: Duane E126 (Smart Classroom), MWF (10:00-10:50 am)

PROFESSOR: Michael Shull,

OFFICE/PHONE: Duane C-328A, (303) 492-7827


    The primary topics of this course are Radiative Transfer and Applied Fluid Dynamics, for first-year graduate students in Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences. Continuation of first-term course ASTR 5110 (IP-1). A fourth weekly meeting is devoted to broader implications of physical processes as seen in recent scientific papers. Students will also gain experience in order-of-magnitude estimation and oral discussion. The detailed syllabus for this course can be found here.

Course Highlights:

  • Boltzmann Equation, Kinetic Theory, Transport
  • Intro to Radiative Transfer (opacities, source function, emissivities)
  • Atmosphere solutions, radiative equilibrium, line formation
  • Astrophysical/Planetary Fluid Dynamics
  • Intro to fluid dynamics, Navier-Stokes equation, conservation laws
  • Rotating fluids, vorticity equation
  • Applications to accretion, winds and outflows
  • Magneto-Hydrodynamics (MHD)
  • Fluid waves, interfaces, shock waves
  • Fluid Instabilities (Jeans, Rayleigh-Taylor, Kelvin-Helmholtz)
  • Viscosity and turbulent flows

  Grading Policies:

    Students will be assigned weekly homework sets, which will be returned with solutions. The course grade will be based on: homework (50%), the final (oral) exam (30%), and the quality and effectiveness of class participation (20%). I ask frequent questions of students during the classes, and I encourage you to participate fully. You will be regarded as professional junior colleagues, and I expect you to come to class prepared to discuss the lecture materials from your readings. I believe that questioning a subject's tacit assumptions and probing students' understanding is critical to this course, which reviews many aspects of your undergraduate physics training in an applied format. My probing may seem a bit intrusive at first, but after a few classes students get over their fears. You need not know the exact or right answer, bur rather learn how to think your way to the answer. Students are encouraged to engage one another in the give-and-take that is part of critical thinking for professionals.

    I also encourage students to come see me regularly, either after class or in my office. It's best to make an appointment, since with professional committees and travel, some of my schedule is not under my control. I am generally around between 8:30 am and 6:30 pm, except for commitments for lunch, group meetings, faculty meetings, and business travel. I'll often suggest good times to meet when you call or e-mail for an appointment.


  • Arnab Choudhuri - Physics of Fluids & Plasmas
  • My copied course notes (proto-text)

  Prerequisites: ASTR 5110 (or permission of instructor)