Univ. Belgrade
Prof. L.Č. Popović
Spectroscopy of Astrophysical Plasmas
(S2, compulsory, 6 ECTS)
Learning Outcomes:A high fraction of the matter in the Universe is in the plasma state. Practically all objects-events visible in the Universe (beside some space objects in the Solar system) are in the plasma state. The plasma emitting in a broad wavelength band, from the gamma rays to the radio, and different emission mechanism are present in space plasma. In this course, students will learn about the plasma conditions in the Universe (different types of the plasma) and plasma radiation, including different emission mechanism that contribute to the continuum and line emission from different objects (from nebulae-stars to the accretion discs around super-massive black holes located in the center of active galaxies). The main outcomes are: 1. Learn about different type of plasma in the universe (different kind of objects from low density to high density plasma); 2. To learn about different emission mechanism in plasma (termal, non-termal; emission in lines and continuum); 3. Learn about specific spectral characteristic of emitting plasma (absorption emission lines in different objects and continuum in different spectral range).
Knowledge and Understanding:
The course has three parts: 1. Lectures given on classical way; 2. Numerical and practical exercises (including visit a laboratory for plasma physics) and 3. Student projects. These three parts are well coordinated and scheduled , starting from lectures at the beginning of the course, and after several lectures, start with exercises. At the end of the course students present their own projects. The experience of the past years has been quite positive, showing that the combination of these three parts give good results in understanding the subject from students. The formal verification of the learning outcomes are carried out at the end of the course with a writing and oral examination.
Applying Knowledge and Understanding:This course gives a theoretical base to understand the emission of different celestial bodies in different spectral rand (from the gamma to radio spectral band). Additionally, students have a training in the practical work (laboratory) to extract some physical parameters of the emitting plasma from observed spectra of different objects. This is very important in the work with spectral observational data. Finally, preparing and presenting project (to other students, tutor and professor) a student learns to write a paper and present own work.
PrerequisitesBasic of Atomic Physics, Basic of Plasma Physics
ProgramProgram of the course covers the following themes: 1. Physical conditions of the matter in the Universe. 2. Atoms and ions under different physical conditions. Plasma state and basic parameters of plasma. 3. Different type of plasma (high and low density plasma, coronal plasma, plasma in TE, LTE and PLTE, equation of balance). 4. Basic of atomic physics (model of atom, energy levels, transitions, transition probabilities, Einstein coefficients). 5. Atomic data bases. 6. Plasma spectroscopy: Mechanism of emissions in plasma. 7. Continuum emission (thermal and non-thermal). 8. Spectral line emissions (absorption and emission lines, line parameters) 9. Plasma diagnostic using spectroscopy. 10. Emission of the celestial objects from gamma to radio and their plasma conditions.
Description of how the course is conductedClassroom lectures, numerical and practical exercises, visiting a laboratory for plasma physics
Description of the didactic methodsLectures are in the form of presentations, but also there are some small problems to solve during the lecture time and during numerical exercises. Preparing projects students are asked to search literature and find papers, and extract parts which are significant for the project subject.
Description of the evaluation methodsQuestions during the numerical exercises, and during lecture, also during presentations of the project, students are asked to demonstrate an understanding of the subject.
Adopted TextbooksNotes of lectures ‘Spectroscopy of astrophysical plasmas’
Recommended readingsJonathan Tennyson:Astronomical Spectroscopy: An Introduction To The Atomic And Molecular Physics Of Astronomical Spectra (Imperial College Press Advanced Physics Trends) Introduction to Plasma Physics(different authors)