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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS5100M Winds, Bubbles and Explosions

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Julian Pittard
Email: j.m.pittard@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Module replaces

PHYS3270 Winds, Bubbles and Explosions in Galaxies

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Massive stars inject radiative and mechanical energy into the interstellar medium via their intense photon fluxes, powerful winds, and SN explosions. This “feedback” is at least partially responsible for dispersing the molecular gas from massive star-forming regions. On larger scales, the energy injected from groups of massive stars powers galactic fountains and superwinds. This course covers the theory behind these processes, and the necessary background to understand them.

Objectives

This module provides the fundamental knowledge for understanding how massive stars affect their environment.

Learning outcomes
- derive the Euler equations of hydrodynamics for an inviscid fluid;
- understand hydrodynamic and magnetohydrodynamic shocks and how to transform from the lab to the shock frame;
- understand various radiative cooling and heating processes that affect gas;
- understand various instabilities that affect astrophysical plasmas;
- describe how ionizing radiation creates HII regions and how these evolve;
- describe the structure of wind-blown bubbles (WBBs) and supernova remnants (SNRs);
- use dimensional arguments and similarity solutions to describe WBB and SNRs;
- understand how WBBs and SNRs evolve;
- describe how SNRs combine to form a superbubble, and how these evolve in a stratified interstellar medium;
- understand how SNRs evolve in an AGN environment;
- understand the key aspects of astrophysical jets


Syllabus

Overview. Injection of energy & momentum. Physical state of gas in the galaxy. Introduction to gas dynamics. Shock fronts. The Rankine-Hugoniot conditions. Physics of shocks and radiatively excited gases. Cooling processes. The cooling curve. The ISM phase curve. Effects of cooling behind shock fronts. Interaction of shocks with clouds. Photoionization and recombination. Ionization balance. Ionization fronts and expanding HII regions. Stellar explosions. The Sedov phase of supernova remnant evolution. Transition to the momentum conserving phase. The range of supernova remnants in interstellar gas. Wind blown bubbles. The two-shock flow pattern. Energy driven bubbles blown by single stars. Cluster winds. Galactic scale effects of winds and explosions into stratified media. The galactic disc-halo connection. Super bubbles and blow out. Starburst galaxies. Superwinds. Evolution of supernova remnants near an AGN. Properties and behaviour of astrophysical jets.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Workshop31.003.00
Lecture221.0022.00
Private study hours125.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

- Taught session follow-up: 55 hours
- Self-directed study: 64 hours
- Workshop preparation: 6 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Workshops

Methods of assessment


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 30 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 08/03/2019

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