Course detail

Fundamentals of Astrophysics

FEKT-MPA-FAPAcad. year: 2022/2023

Emphasis in the course is placed on understanding the basic principles of astrophysics. In particular, it is an overview of the basic building blocks of the universe. Characteristics of the Sun and its place among other stars. Characteristics of stars.
The first part of the course focuses on the extension of basic physical knowledge in the field of general and special theory of relativity and the field of quantum mechanics.
Emphasis is placed on understanding the issue, applying the knowledge and practical experience with astrofyzics.
The following topics will be presented during the semester:

Theory of gravity in the physical image of the world. Development of views on space, time and gravity.
Einstein's law of gravitation.

Formal scheme of KM Principle of superposition in KM and its consequences.

Description of planetary motion, Moon motion. Outline of solar and lunar eclipse calculations.

Origin, evolution and final stages of stars, galaxies, quasars.

Photometry. Radiation detectors - human eye, photographic emulsion, photomultiplier. Photoelectric photometers.

Spectroscopy. Principles of spectroscopy. Optical prism and diffraction grating.

Learning outcomes of the course unit

The graduate of the course is able to describe and explain:
- theory of gravity in the physical image of the world. Development of views on space, time and gravity.
- Einstein's law of gravitation.
- formal scheme of KM Principle of superposition in KM and its consequences.
- description of planetary motion, Moon motion. Outline of solar and lunar eclipse calculations.
- origin, evolution and final stages of stars, galaxies, quasars.
- photometry. Radiation detectors - human eye, photographic emulsion, photomultiplier. Photoelectric photometers.
- spectroscopy. Principles of spectroscopy. Optical prism and diffraction grating.

Prerequisites

The student should be able to explain basic physical phenomena, analyze simple electronic circuits.
In general, knowledge at the bachelor's degree level is required.

Co-requisites

Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Literature

Kulhánek P. a kol.: ASTROFYZIKA: rozsáhlý www komplex (https://www.aldebaran.cz/astrofyzika/) 2020 (CS)
Peratt A.: Physics of the Plasma Univers, Springer-Verlag, 1991 (EN)
Bradt H.: Astronomy Methods, Cambridge University Press, 2004 (EN)
Oswalt T.D., Barstow M.A. (eds.): Planets, Stars and Stellar Systems, Volume 4: Stellar Structure and Evolution. Springer, Dordrecht, 2013. ISBN 9789400756144. (EN)
Harmanec P., Brož M.: Stavba a vývoj hvězd. Matfyzpress, Praha, 2011. ISBN 9788073781651. (CS)

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Teaching methods depend on the type of course unit as specified in the article 7 of the BUT Study and Examination Rules. They include lectures, computer exercises, and labs. The course uses e-learning (Moodle).

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Evaluation of laboratory exercises - 15 b (total 3 protocols)
Semester work - 30 b (2 semester works with defense)
Final exam - 55 b

Language of instruction

English

Work placements

Not applicable.

Course curriculum

1. Theory of gravity in the physical image of the world. Development of views on space, time and gravity. Principle of equivalence, its various formulations and corresponding experiments.
2. Einstein's law of gravitation. Basic observational data about the universe as a whole - mass distribution, Hubble's relation, relic radiation, 'big bang'.
3. Wave function - properties and interpretation. Operators of physical quantities - mean values, eigenvalues ​​and eigenfunctions.
4. Formal scheme of KM Principle of superposition in KM and its consequences. States of microsystems as elements of vector space.
5. Astrometry. Phenomena affecting coordinates - refraction, parallax, aberration, self-movement, precession, nutation. Instruments for terrestrial astrometry, interferometers, astrometric satellites. Doppler effect.
6. Exact time. Stellar time, equations of equinoxes. Right and mean solar time, time equation. Atomic time, UT1 times, UTC, pole motion, motions of solar system bodies. Description of planetary motion, Moon motion. Outline of solar and lunar eclipse calculations.
7. Calculation of trajectory elements from observed positions, units and quantities in astronomy and astrophysics. Electromagnetic radiation, laws of radiation of an absolutely black body.
8. Origin, evolution and final stages of stars, galaxies, quasars. Classical methods of star observation. Spectral classification, luminosity classes, multidimensional classification, classification of variable stars and their places in HRD. Pulsating variable stars.
9. Our Galaxy. Structure, kinematics and dynamics, rotation. Oort constants. Galactic core. Galaxies and quasars. Hubble classification of galaxies. Active galaxies and quasars. Optical systems of telescopes: Newton, Cassegrain, Gregory, Schmidt, Maksutov.
10. Photometry. Radiation detectors - human eye, photographic emulsion, photomultiplier. Photoelectric photometers. Principle of CCD detector. Photometric systems and their applications. Ultraviolet and infrared photometry.
11. Spectroscopy. Principles of spectroscopy. Optical prism and diffraction grating. Dispersion curve. Spectrograph. Microphotometer. Comparative spectrum. Unconventional spectroscopy. Atlases of spectra, tables of spectral lines. Spectrum processing - speed guidance.
12. Radio astronomy. Antennas. Receivers. Point and area objects, continuous and linear radiation. Interferometry, aperture synthesis, VLBI. Radar equation. Ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma astronomy. Instruments of solar physics. Helioscopic eyepiece, whole state, solar spectrograph, coronograph
13. Properties and detection of polarized light. Stokes parameters. Polarimeter, Wollaston polarizer

Aims

The aim of the course is for graduates to have a deeper overview of the basics of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Graduates will gain advanced knowledge in the major parts of classical and modern astronomy, astrophysics. They will also gain an overview of general areas of physics - theoretical mechanics, quantum physics, thermodynamics, statistical physics and general theory of relativity.
They will be able to define the basis of astrophysical phenomena and gain a general overview of the physical laws of the universe.
They will gain an overview of modern observation techniques and methods, they are ready for the analysis of observation data and the creation of numerical models.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

The definition of controlled teaching and the method of its implementation is determined by the annually updated decree of the subject guarantor.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme MPA-SAP Master's, 1. year of study, summer semester, 6 credits, compulsory

Type of course unit

 

Lecture

39 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer

Fundamentals seminar

13 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer

Laboratory exercise

13 hours, compulsory

Teacher / Lecturer