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Course Work Syllabus

The syllabus for the course work is given below (pdf of which can be found here) :

  • Coordinate System:
    • Spherical Trigonometry, Celestial sphere, Equatorial and Ecliptic systems, Coordinate systems
    • Astronomical Times - Sidereal time, Solar time, Hour angle, Julian date, Astronomical twilight
    • Stellar Motions, Planetary motions, Parallax, Precession and Nutation, Astronomical Constants
    • Apparent, Absolute and Bolometric magnitudes, Extinction and Optical thickness, Color-index and luminosity of stars
    • Distances of Stars, Stellar positions, Proper motion, Occultations and Eclipses
  • Stars:
    • Velocity dispersion, Stellar temperatures, Spectral Classification of stars, HR diagram.
    • End product of stars: White dwarfs, Neutron Stars, Black holes. Observational signatures like supernovae, GRBs and classification of such events.
  • Galaxies:
    • Galaxy morphology, Galactic dynamics, Spiral structure, Density wave theory, galaxies classification schemes, Morphology and properties of different class of galaxies.
    • Galaxy luminosity functions. Stellar relaxation, Dynamical friction, Random velocity and random curves, Tully Fischer Relation, Galaxy rotation curve and dark matter.
    • Active galactic nuclei (AGN) and classifications, Quasars emission and absorption line physics. AGN emission model, AGN surveys.
    • Cluster of galaxies and super clusters.
Suggested Readings:
  1. Fundamental Astronomy: Karttunnen, Kroger, Oja, Poutanen, Donner; Springer press

  2. The Physical Universe : an Introduction to Astronomy by Frank H. Shu (Univ. Sci. Books)
  3. An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics : B. W. Carrol & D. A. Ostlie 

  4. Astrophysical Concepts : M. Harwit

  5. Spherical Astronomy : W. M. Smart
  6. An Introduction to Active Galactic Nuclei by B. M. Peterson (Cam. Univ. Press) 

  7. Quasars and Active Galactic Nuclei by Ajit Kembhavi & J. V. Narlikar (Cam. Univ. Press)

  • Errors Analysis and uncertainties
  • Statistical distributions Probability distributions, statistics and expectations, Statistical description of data, Moments of a distribution, Mean, Variance, Random numbers
  • Monte Carlo Techniques
  • Interpolation and extrapolation, Method of least squares, Testing the fit, Curve of growth, Linear and non-linear models, Marquardt method, Errors in estimated parameters, Robust estimation, Random processes in Astrophysics.
  • Fourier Analysis, periodogram analysis.
  • Basic Programming

Suggested Readings:
  1. Practical statistics for Astronomers by J. V. Wall and C. R. Jenkins

  2. Numerical Recipes-the art of scientific computing by W. H. Press et al.
  3. Data reduction and Error analysis for the Physical Sciences, P. R. Bevington and D. K. Robinson
  4. Astrophysical Concepts, Martin Harwit
  5. Computer Programming in FORTRAN 90/95 V. Rajaraman

  • Radiative flux, specific intensity and equation of radiative transfer, solution to the equation of radiative transfer.
  • Thermal radiation, characteristic temperatures related to the Planck spectrum.
  • The Einstein coefficients, Maxwell’s equations, polarization and stokes parameters.
  • Electromagnetic potentials, radiation from moving charges, The Lienard-Wiechart potentials.
  • Velocity and radiation fields, radiation from non-relativistic systems of particles, Larmor’s formula, dipole approximation.
  • Lorentz transformations, emission from relativistic particles, relativistic Larmor’s formula.
  • Bremsstrahlung radiation from a single speed electron, thermal bremsstrahlung emission and absorption.
  • Synchrotron radiation, total emitted power, spectrum of synchrotron radiation, spectral index for power law distribution of electrons, transition from cyclotron to synchrotron radiation, synchrotron self-absorption.

Suggested Readings:
  1. Radiative Processes in Astrophysics by Rybicki & Lightman
  2. Radiation by F. Shu

  • Atmospheric composition and structure, Thermal structure of the Earth's Atmosphere, Composition of the atmosphere, Aspects of Ionosphere
  • Hydrostatic equation, Atmospheric Thermodynamics, solar and terrestrial radiation, Greenhouse effect and effective temperature of earth
  • Meteorological processes and different systems, Local winds, monsoons, fogs, clouds, precipitation, fronts, Cyclones and anticyclones, thunderstorms, Motion of air-masses, Sea breeze, Land breeze.
  • Observational techniques of meteorological parameter: Instruments for meteorological observations, Balloon soundings (RS/RW, pilot balloon etc).
  • Introduction to atmospheric dynamics, Basic conservation laws, Applications of the basic equations, Circulations and vorticity, Synoptic scale motions, Quasi geostrophic analysis
  • Atmospheric oscillations, Baroclinicity, barotropicity and related instability, Mesoscale circulations, The general circulations, Tropical dynamics, climatology of the tropics (ITCZ)
  • Physics and dynamics of monsoon, Tropical cyclones, mesoscale systems of the tropics. Atmospheric boundary layer and mountain meteorology
  • Radar principle, Classical radar equation and return signal, distributed targets, Doppler velocity measurements, Signal processing and detection, Application of radars to study atmospheric phenomenon, Lidar and its applications.

Suggested Readings:
  1. Aeronomy of the middle atmosphere by G. Brasseur and S. Solomon
  2. Atmospheric chemistry and climate change by Brasseur et al.
  3. Meteorology for Scientist and Engineers by R. Stull
  4. Atmospheric Science by J. M. Wallace and P. V. Hobbs
  5. An introduction to dynamic meteorology by J. R. Holton
  6. Meteorology for Scientist and Engineers by R. Stull

  7. Tropical meteorology by G. C. Asnani (Vol I, II, III)
  8. Introduction to radar systems by Skolnik

  9. Radar Meteorology by S. Raghvan 

  10. Radar for Meteorologist by R. E. Rinehart

  1. Hydrodynamics (HD):
    • Equations of motion of fluid - Euler and Navier Stokes equations, basic discussion
    • Kinetic Theory approach to obtain the equations of motion (Boltzmann equations to HD equations)
    • Acoustic waves, shock waves
    • Kelvin’s circulation theorem, laminar flow, turbulent boundary layer
    • Fluid instabilities Convective, rotational, Rayleigh Taylor; gravitational, and Kelvin-Helmholtz Instabilities;
    • Bernoulli’s theorem; deLaval Nozzle; Bondi Flow, Parker wind
    • Jean’s mass- self gravitating spherical masses
    • Application of hydrostatics: Virial theorem, stellar structure; mass-luminosity relationship in stars, mass-radius relationship; stability of stars; Chandrasekhar limit
    • Accretion discs: example (i) Transonic accretion discs – Eq. Of motion, method to solve, solutions (ii) Sakura-Sunyaev disc - equations of motion and continuum spectra
    • Method of characteristics and Riemann Problem, building blocks of CFD
  2. Magneto Hydrodynamics (MHD):
    • Plasma Orbit theory, motion of charged particles in EM field, Drift currents, guiding centre approach. Magnetic mirror, curvature drifts, Landau damping, plasma oscillation
    • Basic Kinetic equation of collisionless plasma, Kinetic theory eqs to Vlassov Equations, Two fluids and its applications
    • MHD Equations from two fluid equations, flux freezing, MHD waves e.g., slow, fast and Alfven waves.
    • Magnetostatics and Parker instability, Magnetic virial theorem
    • Weber Davis model of Solar wind
    • Hydromagnetic shocks: jump conditions. Rotational discontinuities
    • Magnetic reconnection, dynamo, Cowling's theorem
    • Ambipolar diffusion
Suggested Readings:
  1. Gas Dynamics by F. H. Shu
  2. The Physics of Fluids and plasma by A. Rai Choudhuri
  3. Fluid Mechanics by Landau and Liftshitz 

  4. Physics of fully Ionized Gases by L. Spitzer Jr. 

  5. Solar Magneto-hydrodynamics by Priest

  • Molecular clouds, fragmentation and collapse, Isothermal sphere and Jeans criteria, Rotating configuration, Collapse of Dense Cores
  • Hydrostatic equilibrium, Thermal equilibrium, Virial theorem, Mass-luminosity relation
  • Opacities, Convective zones, Convective instability, Energy transport, Lithium problem, Energy generation in stars. Radiative equilibrium
  • Evolution of stars, Thermal and non-thermal distributions, Spectral energy distributions, Continuum, Emission and absorption spectra
  • Model atmospheres, Eddington-Milne approximation, Chandrasekhar solution model atmospheres, Equation of state, Saha's ionization equation, Local thermodynamic equilibrium models, Convective equilibrium, Non-LTE models, Spectral line analysis, Chemical composition, Mass-loss/transfer
  • Stellar winds, Circumstellar envelopes
  • Atmosphere of Sun and sunlike stars.

Suggested Readings:
  1. An Introduction to the Study of Stellar Structure, by S. Chandrasekhar; Dover Pub, 1967
  2. Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis, by D. D. Clayton; University of Chicago Press, 1983.

  3. Stellar Structure and Evolution by Kippenhahn and Weigert 

  4. Stellar Atmospheres, 2nd ed., W.H. Freeman, 2006.
5
  5. Gray, D., Observation and Analysis of Stellar Photosphere, 3rd ed., Cam. Univ. Press, 2005

  • Salient features of Special Relativity
  • Basics of Newtonian mechanics and gravity
  • General Theory of Relativity - Principle of Equivalence; Principle of general covariance
  • General Tensors; Maxwell's Equations in curved space-time; Ideal fluids: Equations of motion
  • Einstein field equations; Schwarzschild line elements and its consequences
  • Stellar structure of relativistic stars, gravitational collapse. Neutron Stars, blackholes
  • The basic framework of relativistic cosmology: FRW metric, Cosmological redshift, Hubble constant, Friedmann models

Suggested Readings:
  1. Gravitation and Cosmology by Weinberg 

  2. Problem book on relativity and gravitation by Priest et. Al.
  3. Classical theory of Field by Landau and Lifshitz
  4. Classical Mechanics - H. Goldstein
  5. Structure formation in the Universe by T. Padmanabhan
  6. Cosmological Physics by J. A. Peacock 

  7. Introduction to Cosmology by J. V. Narlikar 

  8. Principle of Physical Cosmology By P. J. E. Peebles

  • Telescopes and their properties
  • Adaptive/Active Optics and Interferometry, Optical detectors
  • Concept of Photometry, Spectroscopy and Polarimetry, Interstellar absorption law, Photometric measurements, Effects of bandwidth, Relationship between color indices and gradients, Balmer discontinuity, Q parameter of UBV system, Intermediate and narrow band photometry
  • Astronomical spectrograph, Wavelength resolution, Prism, Gratings, Slit spectrograph, Stability of spectrograph, Image slicer, Comparison spectra, Calibration spectra
  • Radio signals and their emission mechanisms, Astronomical radio telescopes, Single dish aperture, Interferometry, Aperture synthesis Detection, Correlators, Calibration, Polarization measurement, Radio observations - continuum, HI 21cm-line, molecular line
  • X-ray & Gamma-ray observational techniques

Suggested Readings:
  1. Handbook of CCD Astronomy by S. B. Howell

  2. Astrophysical Techniques by C. R. Kitchin

  3. Telescopes and Techniques by C. R. Kitchin
  4. Astronomy Method by Hale Bradt
  5. Astronomical Polarimetry by Jaap Tinbergen
  6. Observational Astrophysics by Pierre Lena 

  7. Astronomical Photometry by M. Golay
  8. X-ray Astronomy by R. Giacconi
  9. Frontiers of X-ray Astronomy edited by A. C. Fabian et al. 

  10. X-ray Detectors in Astronomy by G. W. Fraser

  • Interstellar medium (ISM), Galactic gas and its detection, Phases of the interstellar medium
  • Interstellar dust: Extinction and thermal emission, properties of Grains
  • Young stellar systems
  • Effect of massive stars, H II regions, induced star formation
  • Local and large scale distribution of stars and interstellar matter, Diffuse Matter, Inter-galactic Medium(IGM), Diffuse matter in Universe
  • Stellar populations, Stellar variability
  • Classification of variable stars, Binary stars, Transiting exoplanets, Stellar pulsation
  • Pulsating variables, Kappa mechanism, Period-luminosity relationship
  • Characteristics of Cepheids, RR Lyrae stars, Delta-Scuti, Gamma-Doradus, Hybrid stars, Ap, Am and roAp stars, Mira variables
  • Solar-like oscillations, White dwarf variability, Supernovae
  • Variable stars as distance indicators, PMS variables, T Tauri stars, Be stars, RCB stars, Eruptive variables-Flare stars, Wolf-Rayet stars
  • Inter-night and Intra-night variability, Asteroseismology

Suggested Readings:
  1. Fundamental Astronomy: Karttunnen, Kroger, Oja, Poutanen, Donner; Springer press
  2. Challenges in Stellar Pulsation, by L. A. Balona; Bentham Publishers
  3. Understanding of variable stars by John R. Percy
  4. Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium; by Lyman Spitzer Jr.

  5. The Physics of the Interstellar Medium; by J. E. Dyson, D. A. Williams
  6. The Interstellar Medium ; by James Lequeux, Edith Falgarone, Ch Ryter
  7. Star formation; by Stahler and Palla
  8. An introduction to Star formation; by Derek Ward-Thomson and Anthony P. Whitworth

  • Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry and its importance
  • Stratospheric ozone, Production and Loss processes of stratospheric ozone, Polar Stratospheric Clouds, Tropospheric Ozone
  • Oxidizing power of the troposphere, Role of different trace gases and their Budget, Production and loss processes of Tropospheric ozone
  • Role of meteorology (e.g. BL, sea-land breeze, mountain,winds) and dynamics in tropospheric Chemistry, Motion of air-masses (back-air trajectory), Chemical kinetic, Rate expression for gas phase reactions
  • Photolysis rate Lifetime, Surface-Balloon-Satellite based observational techniques, Tools for Modeling (e.g. Box model, and 3-D model), Beer Lambert's law
  • Satellite orbits (Geostationary and Polar), different space-borne sensors and their application/data analysis
  • Classification and properties of aerosols, Production and removal mechanisms, Concentrations and size distribution
  • Radiative and health effects, Observational techniques for aerosols
  • Absorption and scattering of solar radiation, Rayleigh scattering and Mie scattering Bouguert-Lambert law, Principles of radiometry, Optical phenomena in atmosphere Modelling for aerosols
  • Estimations of radiative forcing, Lidar equation, types of Lidar, Applications of Lidar

Suggested Readings:
  1. Atmospheric chemistry and climate change by Brasseur et. al
  2. Atmospheric Science by J. M. Wallace and P. V. Hobbs
  3. Fundamental of Atmospheric Modeling by M. Z. Jacobson
  4. Atmospheric chemistry and climate change by Brasseur et al.
  5. Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry by D. J. Jacob