ASTR 6511: Physics of Black Holes, White Dwarfs & Neutron Stars
Senior level physics at upper-division undergraduate level
Compact objects (neutron stars, black holes and white dwarfs) are the endpoints of stellar evolution. They are responsible for some of the most exotic phenomena in the universe including: supernova explosion, radio pulsars, bright X-ray binaries, magnetars, gamma-ray bursts, and so on. Supermassive black holes also lie at the heart of the violent processes in active galactic nuclei and quasars. The study of compact objects allows one to probe physics under extreme conditions (high densities, strong magnetic fields, and gravity). This course surveys the astrophysics of compact stars and related subjects. Emphasis is on the application of diverse theoretical physics tools to various observations of compact stars. There are no astronomy or general relativity prerequisites. At the level of Physics of Black Holes, White Dwarfs, and Neutron Stars by Shapiro and Teukolsky.