First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP9086347, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC2490, Degree course structure A.Y. 2019/20, A.Y. 2019/20
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Degree course track THEORY AND MODELLING [001PD]
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination RADIATIVE PROCESSES IN ASTROPHYSICS
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge ROBERTO TUROLLA FIS/05

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses FIS/05 Astronomy and Astrophysics 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2019 course timetable

Prerequisites: Classical electrodynamics, special relativity, general astronomy and astrophysics
Target skills and knowledge: The course aims at providing a comprehensive overview of the basic processes involving matter and radiation in astrophysical settings
Examination methods: Oral examination
Assessment criteria: The oral examination aims at verifying the student's knowledge of the basic issues in astrophysical radiative processes and his/her capacity of working with them.
Course unit contents: The radiation field
The basic properties of radiation. The specific intensity and its moments. Emission, absorption and scattering. Radiative transfer. Thermal radiation. The diffusion approximation.

Particles and waves
Plane electromagnetic waves. Polarization and the Stokes parameters. Electromagnetic potentials. Radiation from moving charges. The Liènard-Wiechart potential for a single charge. Radiation from a system of non-relativistic charges, the dipole approximation.

Emission from a single speed electron. Emission from thermal electrons. Bremsstrahlung absorption. Relativistic bremsstrahlung.

Electron scattering. Thomson scattering. Compton scattering. Scattering onto moving charges. Repeated scatterings from non-relativistic thermal electrons. Comptonization, the y-parameter and the Kompaneets equation. The relativistic Kompaneets equation. Bulk motion Comptonization.

Synchrotron radiation. Cyclotron and synchrotron power. Synchrotron emission spectrum for a single charge and for a power-law energy distribution of electrons. Polarization of synchrotron radiation. Synchrotron self-absorption.

Radiative transitions. Semi-classical description. Einstein coefficients and oscillator strengths. Selection rules. Transition rates, bound-bound and bound-free transitions for Hydrogen. Line broadening mechanisms.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Classrooms with worked exercises and examples
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Rybicki, G.B, Lightman, A.P., Radiative processes in astrophysics. New York: Wiley, 1985. Cerca nel catalogo