High Energy Astrophysics
at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Turku
The course period September 15 - December 15, 2017
Teachers: Juri Poutanen (juri.poutanen
utu.fi), Sergey Tsygankov
(sergey.tsygankov [at] utu.fi),
Pavel Abolmasov and Alexandra Veledina
At the end of the course, students should be able to:
describe the physics of compact stars and derive the mass-radius relationship for compact stars
assuming degenerate electron or neutron pressure;
outline the main methods of measuring masses, radii and spins of compact stars;
show the Galactic distribution of different classes of compact stars;
discuss the period-period derivative relation for pulsars and place there different classes of pulsars;
describe different methods of the magnetic field determination of compact stars;
describe the main methods of detecting X-rays and gamma-rays;
obtain and analyze the archival X/gamma-ray data on the object of interest;
develop self-study skills;
solve problems on topics in the syllabus;
read, understand and be able to answer questions on
scientific refereed articles in the field of high-energy astrophysics.
Neutron stars, formation and structure.
Degenerate neutron gas, equation of state, mass-radius relation.
Mass determination in binary systems.
Radio pulsars, X-ray pulsars, accreting millisecond pulsars.
X-ray sources in the Milky Way. Low- and high-mass X-ray binaries.
Stellar-mass black holes. Intermediate-mass black holes.
Supermassive black holes in the Milky Way and in other galaxies.
Physics of accretion, spherical accretion, accretion disks.
Observations of accreting neutron stars and black holes, spectral and temporal properties.
Clusters of galaxies.
Relativistic jets in AGN and gamma-ray bursts.
X-ray and gamma-ray detectors. Main high-energy observatories.
Analysis of the archival X/gamma-ray data.
The course contains a number of demanding computer exercises and data analysis tasks.
Charles P.A., Seward F.D.: Exploring the X-ray Universe, Cambridge
Univ. Press, 1995
Frank J., King A., Raine D.: Accretion power in Astrophysics, 3rd
Cambridge Univ. Press, 2002.
The course consist of lectures (15-16), 7 home exercises, 3
data analysis exercises and a presentation.
Minimum 50% of exercises, data-analysis exercises, presentation,
and the final exam.
Compulsory problems (return by the deadline, => 30 % of the final
Lecture 1: September 15, Introduction +
Lecture 2: September 18, Formation of neutron stars
Lecture 3: September 19, Radio pulsars
Exercise session 1: September 22
Lecture 4: September 25, X-ray binaries
Lecture 5: September 26, X-ray binaries (cont.)
Exercise session 2: September 29
Lecture 6: October 2, Accreting millisecond pulsars
Lecture 7: October 3, X-ray bursts
Exercise session 3: October 6
Lecture 8: October 9, Spherical accretion
Lecture 9: October 10, Accretion disks
Data exercise 1: October 13
Lecture 10: October 16, Accretion disks (cont.)
Exercise session 4: October 17
Data exercise 2: October 20
Lecture 11: October 23, Spectral properties of accreting black holes and neutron stars
Lecture 12: October 24, Timing properties of accreting black holes and neutron stars
Exercise session 5: October 27
Presentations: October 30, in Tuorla
Exercise session 6: November 3
Lecture 13: November 6, Active galactic nuclei
Lecture 14: November 7, Jets from black holes
Data exercise 3: November 10
Exercise session 7: December 1 (10.15 in Tuorla)
Final exam: December 8 (10.00-13.00 in Tuorla)
Monday's and Tuesday's meetings are in room XVI and the Friday meeting is in room 109 in Quantum.