Nuclear relativistic astrophysics 2

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course applies the principles of stellar physics developed in the first module to the study of compact stars. The topics include the phenomenology and theoretical aspects of white dwarfs, of supernova explosions and of neutron stars in their various manifestations (pulsars, magnetars, thermal sources). The different observation channels (electromagnetic, neutrinos, gravitational waves) of multi-messenger astronomy are discussed.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student should know the following topics:
· Structure of white dwarfs and Chandraseckar's limiting mass
· Energetics of Type Ia supernovae
· Theory of Type II supernovae: nuclear photodissociation, core collapse, neutrino trapping, adiabatic homologous collapse, shock waves
· Neutrino emission from the proto-neutron star
· Mass limit for neutron stars in general relativity
· Neutrino emission and cooling of neutron stars
· Magnetic dipole emission and braking index in pulsars
· Nuclear superfluidity, superfluid vortices and pulsar glitches
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Lectures will be delivered online during the official schedule, using the Zoom platform.
Exams will be oral and performed in a Skype call.
Didactic material will we available on Ariel and on a dedicated repository.
Course syllabus
White Dwarfs: Observed properties - Polytropic model, structure and realistic matter composition - Chandraseckar mass - Cooling of white dwarfs.
Supernova explosions: Phases of gravitational collapse and explosion mechanisms - The case of SN1987A: from neutrinos to gamma rays - The onset of collapse, neutrino trapping and homologous collapse - Shock waves: Hugoniot equations, propagation and energetics.
Neutron Stars and Pulsars: Observed properties - TOV equations and limiting mass - Radial density structure - Neutrino emission and cooling of neutron stars - Pulsars: properties and theoretical models - Pulsar glitches: neutron superfluidity, two components model, vortex pinning.
Astrophysics in the X and Gamma bands: accreting binary sources, magnetars, Gamma Ray Bursts - Gravitational waves from compact objects.
Prerequisites for admission
A basic knowledge of classical physics, quantum mechanics and special relativity is required, but the different topics will be presented consistently during the course. The second module requires the knowledge of the topics presented in the first module.
Teaching methods
Attendance strongly recommended.
Traditional front lectures.
Teaching Resources
- A.C. Phillips: The Physics of Stars (Wiley Interscience, 1999)
- D. Prialnik: An Introduction to the Theory of Stellar Structure and Evolution (Cambridge University Press, 2000)
- S.L. Shapiro and S.A. Teukolsky: Black Holes, White Dwarfs, and Neutron Stars: the Physics of Compact Objects (Wiley Interscience, 1983)
- D.D. Clayton: Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis (The University of Chicago Press, 1983)
- J.N. Bahcall: Neutrino Astrophysic (Cambridge University Press, 1990)
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an oral discussion of about one hour about the topics presented during the course. The student is tested on both the theory explained and its quantitative application to simple cases.
FIS/05 - ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours
Educational website(s)
upon appointment
Dipartimento di Fisica - Sezione di Fisica Teorica - Studio DC/1/28