Chris Flynn : Tuorla Observatory

  Astro I
  Astro II


FFYS4327 Introduction to Stellar Physics

Spring Term 2001

Week 1: General Introduction: From the Big Bang to Galaxies and Stars

In HTML format: l1.html

In Postscript format:

Solar Properties

For this week's tutorial, do the review questions in the Solar Properties lecture above.

Basic Stellar properties --- distances, magnitudes, spectral type, ages

In HTML format: l2.html

In Postscript format:

Week 2: Hydrostatic Equilibrium and simple stellar models

In HTML format: l3.html

In Postscript format:

GNUPlot zip file

GNUPlot help

Week 3: Numerical Techniques and Polytropes

In HTML format: l4.html

In Postscript format:

You can get the files you need to run fortran from the following link:


Week 4: Polytropes Continued

In HTML format: l5.html

In Postscript format:

Here is the new version of the program to solve the Lane-Emden equation. This one also calculates the root of the equation (i.e. the radius at the surface of the star) using linear interpolation.


Week 5: We introduce the concept of opacity and look at the Equation of radiative transfer

In HTML format: l6.html

In Postscript format:

Week 6: Population levels in atoms (Boltzmann equation and Saha equation) and the strength of lines as a function of temperature.

In HTML format: l7.html

In Postscript format:

Week 7: We look at the sources of energy in the stars -- the conversion of H to He and beyond -- and the means we have to test this
energy source directly through solar neutrinos.

In HTML format: l8.html

In Postscript format:  


Week 8: Stellar models:  we look at the methods used to compute stellar models using the CUPS software.

Week 9: Stellar evolution : what happens after the stars run out of Hydrogen in the core?

In HTML format: l10.html

In Postscript format:

Some more resources:

The following lecture by Nick Strobel is an excellent introduction to stellar evolution:

Here are some computed stellar evolutionary tracks and a simulation program showing evolution as a function of stellar mass

List of stellar evolutionary models for stars of different mass and composition

Detailed information from the original source

DOS code to simulate stellar evolution, using the models above

Week 10: Stellar convection

In HTML format: l9.html

In Postscript format:  


Miscellaneous topics

Here are links to more on stellar clusters , supernovae and the future of the Sun, which we covered in the second half of the lecture.


Exercise: go to the web and find an open cluster and a globular cluster.  Find a colour magnitude diagram for both and compare it with the model clusters in the lecture link above. Argue for a young, medium or old age for each object.


Exercise: go to the web and find out about supernpva 1987A. Where was it, why was it special and what happened? Find a light curve of the supernova (brightness as a fuction of time). What was the time scale for the supernova light curve to fade? Why this time scale --- what physical process is controlling the brightness of the supernova after the explosion?

  Solar future

Exercise: go to the paper in Astrophysical Journal at this web address

The paper is by

Sackmann, I.-Juliana, Boothroyd, Arnold I. and Kraemer, Kathleen E., Astrophysical Journal,  volume 418, page 457.

Find out more about the Solar future and the fate of the Earth. The Sun is outputing more and more energy. When is the Sun expected to extinguish life on Earth?

Week 11: Helioseismology and white dwarfs. This week's lecture is from material published by the Helio- and asteroseismology group at Aarhus University in Denmark.


The 2nd half of the lecture was a discussion of an article on white dwarfs in the December 2000 issue of American Scientist