Radiative transfer: fundamental equations and optical depth; thermal radiation and local thermodynamic equilibrium; spectral lines and broadening mechanisms; scattering (Mie and Rayleigh); application to the interstellar medium.
Ionisation losses and bremsstrahlung: radiation from an accelerated charge; thermal bremsstrahlung; bremsstrahlung self-absorption; applications to astrophysical systems (e.g., galaxy clusters).
Synchrotron emission: theory; spectrum; polarization; Faraday rotation; synchrotron self-absorption; applications to astrophysical systems (e.g., radio galaxies).
High energy photon interactions: inverse Compton radiation; Thomson scattering; theory; astrophysical applications (e.g., the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect, cosmic rays).
Black holes and accretion phenomena: application to active galactic nuclei, compact stars (white dwarfs, neutron stars/pulsars); observational evidence.
Telescopes and detectors at gamma ray, X-ray, UV, IR, sub-mm, and radio wavelengths.
Radio interferometry: visibilities; aperture synthesis.
After completing this module students are expected to be able to:
Apply the radiative transfer equation to astrophysical systems and perform simple calculations.
Describe the physics of bremsstrahlung, synchrotron, and inverse Compton radiation, and derive estimates of the associated physical properties of observed astrophysical systems.
Explain the physical principles behind telescopes and detectors at non-visible wavelengths, and discuss their application to observations of astrophysical systems.
Understand the physical processes that arise in high energy astrophysical sources and model them.
Understand and apply the basic principles of radio interferometry to observational data to derive physical properties of high energy astrophysical sources (e.g., radio galaxies, supernovae remnants, pulsars).