PHY 521: Stars

Spring 2010

Class meets MW 3:50 -- 5:10, ESS450

First meeting: February 1, 2010. Approximately 5 classes will have to be rescheduled, so bring your class schedules with you so we can determine feasible make-up class time periods.

Text: I will assign readings from a variety of sources, and will distribute copies of readings from sources not easily accessible. Some basics are described in the online texts

The Fundamentals of Stellar Astrophysics, by G. Collins II, also available in published form (Freeman: New York), 1989

Radiative Transfer in Stellar Atmospheres by R.J. Rutten.

In addition, the standard texts

  • Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis, by D.D. Clayton (McGraw-Hill: New York), 1968 and later,
  • Stellar Atmospheres, D. Mihalas (various editions), Advanced Stellar Astrophysics, by W.K. Rose (Cambridge: Cambridge), 1998,
  • Stellar Structure and Evolution, By R. Kippenhahn and A. Weigert (Springer-Verlag: Berlin), 1991 and
  • Stellar Interiors, by C.J. Hansen and S.D. Kawaler (Springer-Verlag: Berlin), 1994 are useful
  • Syllabus: Summaries of lectures are presented as postscript files linked below. These will be updated in a continuous fashion throughout the semester. If you have trouble accessing these pages, please let me know. Because of schedule rearrangements, the topics are not keyed to specific class meetings, but the order of presentation will be followed. The syllabus is optimistic, some topics will have to be eliminated due to time pressures.

    Major Topics


    The final grade will be assessed from a mid-term and a final exam, together with weekly homework assignments and 3 computer exercises. Extra help sessions in connection with the computer exercises will be scheduled if required. I prefer if you write the codes in Fortran, but this is not necessary.


    Homework 1 Solutions to Homework 1 Homework 2 Solutions to Homework 2 Homework 3 Solutions to Homework 3 Homework 4 Solutions to Homework 4 Take-Home Exam 1 Take-Home Exam 1 Solutions Homework 5 Homework 6 Take-Home Exam 2 Solutions to Take-Home Exam 2


    If you have a physical, psychological, medical or learning disability that may impact your course work, please contact Disability Support Services, ECC (Educational Communications Center) Building, room128, (631) 632-6748. They will determine with you what accommodations, if any, are necessary and appropriate. All information and documentation is confidential.

    Each student must pursue his or her academic goals honestly and be personally accountable for all submitted work. Representing another person's work as your own is always wrong. Faculty are required to report any suspected instances of academic dishonesty to the Academic Judiciary. Faculty in the Health Sciences Center (School of Health Technology & Management, Nursing, Social Welfare, Dental Medicine) and School of Medicine are required to follow their school-specific procedures. For more comprehensive information on academic integrity, including categories of academic dishonesty, please refer to the academic judiciary website at

    Stony Brook University expects students to respect the rights, privileges, and property of other people. Faculty are required to report to the Office of Judicial Affairs any disruptive behavior that interrupts their ability to teach, compromises the safety of the learning environment, or inhibits students' ability to learn. Faculty in the HSC Schools and the School of Medicine are required to follow their school-specific procedures.