Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
University of British Columbia
6224 Agricultural Road
AIM: A course in point-mass gravitational dynamics in the context of the Solar System, stellar, galactic, and extragalactic environments.
First year graduate (see prereqs below)
or 4th year honours with the permission of the instructor.
- Solar System Dynamics (Burns and Gladman, chapters provided free of charge)
- Galactic Dynamics. Binney and Tremaine (Princeton University Press). MUST BE 2ND EDITON
Other potentially-useful references (not required):
- Galactic Astronomy. Binney and Merrifield (Princeton University Press)
- Solar System Dynamics. Dermott and Murray.
- Undergraduate classical mechanics at honours physics level. You should have seen Hamilton's equations of motion.
- Differential equations at honours physics level (PDEs).
- Elementary knowledge of a scientific programming language. Some numerical exploration will be required.
HOURS PER WEEK: Three hours of meetings per week on average.
3 CREDITS : Coursework will consist of assigned readings, discussion,
assignments as well as midterm and final examimations.
Unit: CELESTIAL MECHANICS - Overview of solar system structure - The 2-body problem - The restricted 3-body problem - Numerical techniques - The N-body problem and dynamical chaos - Resonances, perturbation equations - The stability of the solar system - Extrasolar Planets * The level of the above topics is as covered in the commonly available: Orbital Motion, 3rd Edition. A.E. Roy Fundmentals of Celestial Mechanics, J.M.A. Danby Solar System Dynamics, C.D. Murray and S.F. Dermott * The remaining topics are on the scope of the coverage of that topic in: Galactic Dynamics, 2nd edition. J. Binney and S. Tremaine Most of the material is in Chapters 1-3, 7 and 8 Unit: GALACTIC/STELLAR DYNAMICS - The structure of the galaxy - Galactic kinematics - Evidence for dark matter - Dynamical friction - Dynamics of star clusters Unit: EXTRAGALACTIC DYNAMICS - Galactic potentials and orbits - Dynamics of clusters of galaxies - Environmental effects
Date Readings to be done BEFORE THAT CLASS. Jan 03 1st class; no readings. HW1 assigned, due Jan 10. Jan 05 Secs 2.1 and 2.2 Jan 10 Secs 2.3 -- 2.7 inclusive. HW2 assigned, due Jan 17 Jan 12 Secs 2.8 -- 2.10 inclusive. Jan 17 No readings due for Jan 17 Jan 19 Secs 3.1 -- 3.4 inclusive. HW3 assigned. due Jan 24 Jan 24 Secs 3.6 and 3.7. HW4 assigned, due Jan 31 Jan 26 pp. 119-126. Secs 4.2,4.3 -- non scheduled readings Section 5.1 and 5.2 (pp. 142-152) Section 6.1, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5 Section 7.1-7.3 Chapter 8 up to and including 8.8 Chapter 9's pp. 287-299