Link to PHYS 7120
Radiative Processes Slides Assignments
Instructor: Zheng Zheng
Classroom: JFB 210
Class Time: Mon, Wed (9:40am - 11:35am)
Course Website: http://www.astro.utah.edu/~zhengzheng/Spring2019
Office Hours: Feel free to stop by my office (INSCC 326) if you see the door open. You can also contact me (801-581-8975; ) to set up a time to meet.
Number of Credit Hours: 4
Main textbook: Rybicki & Lightman, Radiative Processes in Astrophysics
Supplementary book: Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics
Welcome to the Radiative Processes course!
Our knowledge about celestial objects and the universe is largely obtained by observations of electromagnetic radiation. This course will provide students a working knowledge of the fundamental processes related to electromagnetic radiation, including topics on the generation, propagation, and scattering of radiation. Applications in astrophysics will be briefly discussed and be reflected in reading assignments and in some homework problems.
This research-oriented course focuses on providing physical insights into radiative processes. After completing the course, the students are expected to
(1) have a solid background in understanding radiative processes, especially for those in the area of astrophysics;
(2) build up a clear physical picture of the microscopic radiation mechanisms;
(3) develop a basic knowledge to associate astronomical observations with the underlying physical processes;
(4) be able to read and understand current research papers involving radiative processes;
(5) be ready to apply the physics learned in class to research work.
This course fulfills the same degree requirements as PHYS 7120 and may be taken as a substitute for PHYS 7120. Students are expected to have a background in intermediate electromagnetic theory, introductory quantum mechanics, basics of special relativity, and some statistical mechanics.
Homework will be assigned roughly once every two weeks, which intends to help you to understand the concepts and methods learned in class, to apply them to some astrophysics situations, and to learn new things. Homework assignments can be found here. While you can have discussions with other students (and you are encouraged to do so) when working on the homework problems, you must write up your solutions independently.
In addition to the homework problems that you need to hand in the solutions, you will also be asked to read some problems in the Rybicki&Lightman book and to think how you would solve them. These problems have solutions in the back of the book for you to check. Some readings from papers or other books may be assigned in class during the course to complement the main textbook (e.g., for astrophysical applications). These reading assignments can be found here.
Midterm and final written exams will be administered. These are scheduled to be on
The final grade will be weighted in the following way:
N.B. Cheating (including copying homework from any sources) will not be tolerated, and zero credit will be given to the exam or assignment for all parties involved.
We will roughly follow the schedule listed below. I may review the solutions to some homework problems and discuss some papers occasionally. The pace of the course may be adjusted for better coverage and understanding of some topics.
The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability Services (CDS), 162 Union Building, 581-5020 (V/TDD). CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations. All written information in the course can be made available in alternative format with prior notification to the Center for Disability Services. (http://disability.utah.edu/services/academic.php)
Personal concerns such as stress, anxiety, relationship difficulties, depression, cross-cultural differences, etc., can interfere with a student's ability to succeed and thrive at the University of Utah. For helpful resources contact the Center for Student Wellness - http://www.wellness.utah.edu; 801-581-7776.