Radiative Processes in Astrophysics
University of Oulu, 2008

Lecturer: Juri Poutanen, TÄ 310, ph. 5531962, juri.poutanen [at] oulu.fi
Assistent: Indrek Vurm, TÄ 304, ph. 5531932, indrek.vurm [at] oulu.fi

The course is devoted to the classical radiation theory (Maxwell equations, retarded potentials, multipole radiation, spectral distribution, Larmor formula, relativistic effects, bremsstrahlung, synchrotron radiation, and Compton scattering) and its astrophysical applications to the emission processes in pulsars, relativistic jets, accretion-powered compact sources such as black holes and neutron stars, and clusters of galaxies. Theoretical considerations will be supplemented with the home exercises which constitute the important part of the course.

Radiation; Rybicki, G. & Lightman, A.: Radiative Processes in Astrophysics
Shu, F.H.: The Physics of Astrophysics. Vol 1, Radiation
and compendium.

Lectures and exercise sessions (about 20 all together) take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays in TÄ 315 at 14-16.

Compulsory problems (return by the deadline). 5 sets (=> 30 % of the final score)
[problems set 1] (September 30)
[problems set 2] (October 16)
[problems set 3] (October 30)
[problems set 4] (November 13)
[problems set 5] (November 27)

Questions for the exam [pdf]


September 16: Introduction. Basics of radiative transfer. I.
September 18: Basics of radiative transfer. II.
September 23: Basics of radiative transfer. III
September 25: Radiation fields. I. Maxwell equations in vacuum. Electro-magnetic waves.
September 30: Exercise session 1.
October 2: Radiation fields. II. Radiation spectrum. Stokes parameters, polarization of radiation.
October 7: Radiation From Moving Charges. I. Electromagnetic potentials. Retarded potentials. The Lienard-Wiechert potentials.
October 9: Radiation From Moving Charges. II. Electromagnetic field in wave zone.
October 14: Dipole radiation, examples.
October 16: Exercise session 2.
October 21: Multipole radiation.
October 23: no lectures
October 28: Relativistic kinematics. Special relativity
October 30: Exercise session 3.
November 4: Radiation of relativistic charges.
November 6: Bremsstrahlung.
November 11: Synchrotron radiation.I
November 13: Exercise session 4.
November 18: Synchrotron radiation.II
November 20: Compton scattering. I. Compton effect. Inverse Compton scattering.
November 25: Compton scattering. II. Thermal Comptonization.
November 27: Exercise session 5.
December 12, 9.00-12.00: Exam.

Lecture notes [pdf]

Preliminaries [pdf]
Chapters 1 and 2 [pdf]
Chapter 3 [pdf]
Chapter 4 [pdf]
Chapter 5 [pdf] Paper by Ghisellini on special relativity [pdf]
Chapter 6 [pdf]
Chapter 7 [pdf]
Chapter 8 [pdf]
Questions for the exam [pdf]