ISP 205, Section 3, Spring 2004, Prof. Stein



Date Topic Reading Assignment
Wednesday, March 3 The Sun (a typical star) Chapter 15 What do you already know about the Sun? A tour of the Sun sections 15.2,15.4,15.5 Stellar Structure: The Sun Pressure and Gravity sections 15.1,11.1,5.3 Energy Source (nuclear fusion) sections 15.3,S4.2,S4.3 Star Assignment 1 due Monday, March 15 Stellar Structure (continued) Energy Loss (radiation & convection)section 10.2,11.3,15.2,15.4 Structure Determined by two balance conditions: pressure and gravity section 15.1 energy generation and loss section 15.3 Tests: oscillations (helioseismology),section 15.3 neutrino experiments section 15.3 Star Assignment 2 due Wednesday, March 17 Observing Stars Chapter 16 Luminosity = rate of energy loss Brightness section 16.2 farther = fainter Distances by parallax section 16.2 Number - luminosity relation Surface temperature of stars section 16.3 Color -> temperature Spectra -> temperature, composition & density mass of stars section 16.4 binary stars, Doppler shift section 6.5 mass/luminosity relation Planet project 6 due Star Assignment 3 due Monday, March 22 Quiz 2: (Warm-up for Exam 2) Chapters 9-11,15,16 Review Chapters 9-11,15,16 Star Assignment 4 due Wednesday, March 24 Mid Term Exam #2 Chapters 9-11,15,16 Monday, March 29 Observing Stars (continued) Chapter16 Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram section 16.5, Fig. 16.10 Stellar Lifetimes Star Assignment 5 due Wednesday, March 31 Stellar Evolution Chapter 17, Fig 17.26 Birth section 17.1 Maturity: core hydrogen fusion, The Main Sequence section 17.3-4 Evolution Driven by: Loss of energy to space Reduction in number of nuclei by fusion Old Age as a Red Giant Chapter 17 Dependence on Mass section 17.1 Test: star clusters section 16.6 Star Assignment 6 due Monday, April 5 Stellar Evolution (continued) Death of stars Chapter 18 White Dwarfs section 18.1-2,S4.5 Supernovae & nucleosynthesis section 17.4 Neutron Stars (pulsars) sections 18.3 Black Holes sections 18.4 Star Assignment 7 due



  1. Describe what is meant by luminosity and brightness
  2. Describe how to measure a star's luminosity, brightness, distance, mass and surface temperature.
  3. Use stellar spectra to determine the surface temperature and abundances of stars.
  4. Explain the relations between pressure, temperature and density in terms of collisions between atoms, ions and electrons.
  5. Describe how astronomers concluded that the source of stars' energy was thermonuclear reactions. Explain why nuclear reactions occur only at high temperatures.
  6. Explain what keeps a star stable
  7. Describe the relation between a star's luminosity and its insulating ability. Describe how the insulating ability depends on the ease with which photons can travel to the surface of the star.
  8. Describe how the balances between gravity and pressure, and between energy loss and supply maintain a star's equilibrium structure.
  9. Describe how models of stellar structure are tested.
  10. Describe how we know what is happening inside the Sun
  11. Explain the evolution of a star in terms of loss of energy to space, consumption of nuclear fuel, upsets in the equilibrium balance conditions and gravitational contraction.
  12. Describe the sequence of evolutionary stages of a star and how they depend on the mass of the star. Describe the properties of stars in different evolutionary stages: pre-main sequence, main sequence, red giant, white dwarf, supernova, neutron star and black hole.
  13. Explain why a white dwarf can not be more massive than 1.4 time the mass of the Sun and neutron stars can not be more massive than 3 times the mass of the Sun.
  14. Describe what you would see if you watched someone falling into a black hole.
  15. Plot a Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram, and locate the regions of giant, main sequence and white dwarf stars. Describe the relations between surface temperature, luminosity, mass and size for these types of stars. Describe the evolutionary state of the 16 brightest northern-hemisphere stars.

Updated: 2004.03.15 (Monday) 18:16:10 EST

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