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 and HW due for THAT DAY OF CLASS. Jan 11 No readings. -- none due (HW1 assigned) Jan 13 Chpt 2 to end of 2.2 no HW due, HW1 due Jan 18 though Jan 18 Chapter 1, 2.3 HW1, HW2(1 problem) Jan 20 2.4, 2.5 HW3(1 problem) Jan 25 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 HW4 Jan 27 2.9 -- Feb 1 2.10, 2.11 HW5 Feb 3 3.1, 3.3 --- HW6 and HW7 distributed Currently, below is esimate. Feb 7 3.2, 3.7 HW6 Feb 9 Sec 3.5.1 HW7 Feb 14 Chpt 4 to end 4.1.3 -- (but HW8 distributed) Feb 16 4.2, 4.3, 4.6 HW8 Feb 28 Chpt 5 HW9 Mar 2 MIDTERM EXAM in class. Mar 7 Chpt 6 to end of 6.3.5 none Mar 9 -- HW10 Mar 14 6.4, 6.5, 7 to end 7.1 none Mar 16 8 to end 8.5 HW11 Now B&T 2nd edition sections/pages Mar 21 Chpt 2 to end p.66 HW12 Mar 23 pp 68-71(f,g),p72, 2.3.2 none Mar 28 2.4, Chpt 3 to end p.149 HW13x (TYPO, 3.6 intended), cancelled Mar 30 pp 152-156,159-161 HW13. Did Sec 2.7 in class, added. Apr 4 3.3 to end p. 185 HW14 Apr 6 1.1.2 and 1.2 HW15 Apr 12 FINAL EXAM, 09:00-11:00 Hennings 309