Department of Astronomy Center for Radiophysics & Space Research

ASTR 6531: Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics

InstructorsDong Lai
Credit Hours4
Typically OfferedFall

This course will survey fluid dynamics (including magnetohydrodynamics and some plasma physics) important for understanding astronomical phenomena. Topics include basic fluid and MHD concepts and equations, waves and instabilities of various types (e.g., sound, gravity, Rossby, hydromagnetic, spiral density waves; Rayleigh-Taylor, thermal, Jeans, rotational, magnetorotational instabilities), shear and viscous flows, turbulence, shocks and blast waves, etc. These topics will be discussed in different astrophysical contexts and applications, such as atmosphere and ocean, star and planet formation, compact objects, interstellar medium, galaxies and clusters. This course is intended mainly for graduate students (both theory and observation) and senior undergraduates in physics and engineering interested in astrophysics and space physics. No previous exposure to fluid dynamics is required.