Structure and Evolution of Stars (SES) - UvA Astronomy and Astrophysics Masters Course (6EC, Block 4, Spring 2016)


These lectures give an overview of the basic physical processes that occur inside stars. Treated are the equation of state, the thermodynamics of the stellar gas plus radiation field, thermonuclear fusion processes which give rise to the formation of the elements heavier than hydrogen and drive a star's long-term evolution. Also covered are the basic mechanisms of energy transport through the star (radiative opacity and convection) as well as of angular momentum transport (instabilities in rotating stars) with possible mixing to the surface of the chemical elements formed in the deep interior. This theory is applied to understand the large body of numerical results obtained in solving the stellar structure/evolution equations: from star formation in interstellar clouds to the terminal phases of stellar evolution (white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes).

The textbook for the course is `An introduction to the evolution of single and binary stars', by Matthew Benacquista (Springer). Assessment depends on a computational assignment, an essay on a classic paper in stellar evolution, and a final exam.

Fluid Dynamics - UvA Astronomy & Astrophysics Masters Course (6EC, Block 5, Spring 2016)


Beehive geyser
Fluid dynamics, the study of the motion of fluids and plasmas, is critical to many different areas of physics, from astronomy to biophysics. This course will cover the basic principles underlying fluid flows, and illustrate their importance with reference to a range of cutting-edge research problems. Topics covered will include: the governing equations of (magneto) hydrodynamics, hydrostatic and hydrodynamic equilibrium, waves and instabilities, turbulence, convection and shocks. Methods for solving fluid dynamics problems, including simple numerical techniques, will form an integral part of the course. Movies and demonstrations will be used throughout, to build intuition about fluid behaviour under different conditions

The textbook for the course is 'The physics of fluids and plasmas: an introduction for astrophysicists', by Arnab Rai Choudhuri. Photocopies of additional material will be provided in the lectures as necessary. Assessment depends on an open book midterm exam, a short presentation on a fluid dynamics research paper, and a final exam.

Bachelors and Masters projects


Various possibilities exist for both Bachelors (2nd/3rd year) and Masters projects for registered UvA students. Please contact me for more details if you are interested. Unfortunately I am not able to offer projects to students outside the University of Amsterdam.