Portal talk:Astrophysics

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This page looks like <insert expletive>. No idea why the Luminosity is sitting by itself on the Astro front page.

I find the Wikiversity naming to be slightly ambiguous. Physical Sciences is the Faculty, Physics and Astronomy is the department meaning that Astrophysics is not a department but a sub-department or group (IMO, £0.02).

Astronomy vs Astrophysics Furthermore, there ought to be some unison between the supposed deparments of Astronomy and Astrophysics. There is great overlap but I believe the two things are slightly different. Astronomy relates to making observations and categorizing objects, Astrophysics is about understanding the objects (the physics that govens said objects). So perhaps it makes sense to merge Astronomy and Astrophysics on the same page but note the division between the two via their associated topics. --Augustus 20:48, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I realise this may be a contentious point but until there is a definitive unison of both departments I'll continue to work on Astrophysics as if though it is a separate entity. --Augustus 23:53, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Additional requirements for an astrophysics degree (yet to be placed within dept): Also highly recommended is familiarity with computer programming (at least once programming language). In the case of understanding exosolar planets then it will also help to have an understanding of Geology and Chemistry.

Housekeeping[edit source]

This shouldn't be on the front page (it should be part of a relevant course page):

The Luminosity of a star is calculated using its surface temperature and radius.

σ (Stefan-Boltzmann constant) 5.67×10−8 W·m-2·K-4
5.67×10−8
Please feel free to take it off, and put the rational in the summary. Be bold. : ) --Remi 22:30, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm still a bit new to Wikipedia and how to edit it, so forgive any formatting or ettiquette mistakes. Feel free to point me in the right direction if it looks like I'm going astray. --Augustus 23:38, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Looks good so far. : ) I wish we new better how to make people feel welcomed and empowered. Subpages of your userpage are a good way to experiment. For example: User:Augustus/This is a subpage. --Remi 23:42, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Orbital Mechanics[edit source]

This could be studied from a Newtonian perspective but is likely to come in a early year undergraduate maths course. As for a full GR treatment, we might as well put that into the GR course. Hence, I don't advocate having a separate topic. Augustus 01:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Von Zeipel theorem[edit source]

The external link to this theorem is useful but not something I'd link from the front page. The front page of the department should be linking to our courses plus -general- reference pages. The VZT link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Von_Zeipel_theorem) is quite specific and would be a worthwhile addition to one of our (in progress) course pages. Augustus 20:06, 19 November 2008 (UTC)


Department news[edit source]

  • April 20, 2007 - Department founded!
  • November 2, 2007 - Department page heavily updated!
  • December 10, 2007 - Curriculum added to front page. Copied below.

Putting this here for posterity. Might become useful later if we have many more updates and wish to inform users of updates. --Augustus 23:51, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Notes for Curriculum[edit source]

From what I can see on the Astronomy page, someone has gone for overkill breaking down large topics into many many small ones. This seems unnecessary. Deciding how to display the relevant information is a two fold problem: first identify which topics are necessary, then decide how to split up the information for each level (university year).

eg Electromagnetism is a necessary topic but there is no point starting with QED or the manifestly covariant form of Maxwell's equations etc. Secondly, it would be more appropriate to have Electromagnetism somewhere else in the School of Physics and for the Astro department to link to it. I suggest creating a curriculum based on 'necessary' broad areas of interest which can later be subsided into the appropriate levels. I'll do so by relying on my own experiences/knowledge. As there is much overlap between the topics I realise that this invites contention about where to put the information.

My undergrad was something like this (an Mphys degree with Astrophysics honours):

  • 1st year: Physics / Maths / Astrophysics. Covering them quite generally and at a basic level.
  • 2nd year: Physics / Maths / other electives. More detail.
  • 3rd year: Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, Dynamics and Relativity, Electromagnetism, Thermodynamics, (introductory/intermediate) Nuclear and Particle Physics, Physics of Stars and Nebulae, Galaxies Quasars and the Universe, a programming class, an applicable maths class.
  • 4th/5th year: Quantum Physics, Statistical Physics, Relativistic Electromagnetism, Lagrangian Dynamics, General Relativity, Cosmology, Stellar Evolution, High Energy Astrophysics, Radiation and Matter (with application to Astrophysics), Astro Statistics, X-Ray Astronomy / Gamma-Ray Bursts and Exo-solar planets, plus some 'real' research work.

Optional advanced choices included: Quantum Theory, Particle Physics, Nuclear Physics, Hamiltonian Dynamics, QFT, Condensed Matter Physics, Solid State Physics, Lasers, Digital Image Analysis, Advanced Cosmology plus additional programming courses... the list goes on. Could be here for a while listing the possibilites. However, I hope this will help to focus our thoughts and give a working framework from which we can build upon.

Supplementary Topics (this is an idea): Linux , Shell Scripting, Programming, Computer architecture, Parallel/distributed programming (incl e-Science / Grid technologies), Telescope use, LaTeX

So what we need to do is create a more rigorous curriculum and then coordinate how to create that information in the Astro department. --Augustus 00:32, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Suggested Curriculum[edit source]

Level 1[edit source]

Level 2[edit source]

Level 3[edit source]

(latest update) Augustus 00:00, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Agreed on this one. --StalinUpstaged 08:38, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

papers...[edit source]

http://www.astro.northwestern.edu/rasio/publications.html Emesee 22:19, 8 August 2008 (UTC)