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. Yould 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 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