Selected chapters on astrophysics (NAST021)

This course is taught in winter semesters and consists of a few independent sub-courses that attempt to provide some insights into the state of the art knowledge in the respective branches of astrophysics or related scientific disciplines. In order to successfully pass the exam, students must complete a set of homework assignments from all of the mandatory sub-courses of the given semester (in maroon below) and present the chosen methods and obtained (correct) results to the examiner (or the whole class) until June 30th of the given academic year. All kinds of information resources are allowed (including consultations with the lecturers and other students). The grade is derived from the degree of correctness of the solutions. Students may enroll to this course repeatedly. In case of any (course related) inquiries, please contact Jaroslav Haas, preferably via email 'haas' (the strange symbol) 'sirrah.troja.mff.cuni.cz'.


Programme of the winter semester 2022/2023

Some lecture details may change for unexpectedly emerging reasons; please keep an eye on this website for updates.

Writing and communicating your science
Henri Boffin (European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany)

- when: Monday, October 17th (9:00—12:30); Wednesday, October 19th (12:20—15:30); Thursday, October 20th (12:20—15:30)
- where: TAU (directly at the Astronomical Institute of Charles University)
- slides; please, do not distribute!: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
- exam homework: description
- abstract:

There is no science without communication and no successful scientists without good writing and presentation skills. You can do the best science that exists, if you do not write papers about it — papers that get cited! — and if you do not give presentations that impress people, your science will likely be ignored. Moreover, if you do not write convincing proposals that appeal to non-specialists, you will not get observing time, nor the coveted postdoc position and certainly not the very competitive but needed grants to fund your research. Finally, as a scientist, it is your duty and privilege to communicate your science to the general public, policy makers and the media, and like all the rest, this is something that needs to be learned. This course will teach you how to get your message across in the various supports you need to use as a scientist.

Machine learning (not only) in physics
Martin Žonda (Department of Condensed Matter Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Prague),
Pavel Baláž (Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague)

- when: Wednesday, October 26th (14:00—15:30); Wednesday, November 2nd (14:00—15:30); Thursday, November 3rd (13:10—14:40); Thursday, November 10th (13:10—14:40)
- where: TAU (directly at the Astronomical Institute of Charles University)
- lecture materials: gradually uploaded in Microsoft Teams; access on request during classes
- slides: 1, 2, 3, 4
- exam homework: task description in Microsoft Teams
- abstract and preliminary syllabus:

In our four lectures, we will present the basic concepts of machine learning and their place in contemporary scientific research, especially in physics. We will gradually explain machine learning methods useful for regression and classification of physical data as well as for analysis and prediction of time series. The application of particular methods will be demonstrated on simple examples from the field of condensed matter physics and astrophysics in the form of short tutorials using the Python programming language with Scikit-learn and TensorFlow modules.

1. Classification methods: nearest neighbors, decision trees, random forests
2. Linear and logistic regression, feedforward neural networks, deep learning
3. Time series analysis and predictions
4. Dimensionality reduction: principal components analysis, autoencoder

Quantitative spectroscopy analysis of massive stars
Brankica Kubátová (Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Ondřejov)

- when: Wednesday, November 16th (14:00—15:30); Wednesday, November 23rd (14:00—15:30); Wednesday, November 30th (14:00—15:30); Thursday, December 1st (13:10—14:40)
- where: TAU (directly at the Astronomical Institute of Charles University)
- abstract:

The chemical composition and structure of galaxies is dominated by massive hot stars. Their evolution is shaping their ambient interstellar medium by injecting large amount of energy and processed matter to it. Understanding these stars is thus a necessary prerequisite for understanding our universe.

The lectures will cover the basics of the stellar spectroscopy, the process of determination of atmospheric (stellar and wind) parameters, and chemical elemental surface abundances accessible through the analysis of observed spectra in different wavelength regions. Different stellar atmospheric codes will be presented with an emphasis on the PoWR (the Potsdam Wolf-Rayet) code as one of the basic tools to carry out a quantitative spectroscopic analysis of OB-type and Wolf-Rayet stars.

Newtonian dynamics in astrophysics
Roberto Capuzzo Dolcetta (Sapienza University of Rome & Enrico Fermi Study and Research Center, Rome, Italy)

- when: Monday, December 5th (10:00—11:30); Wednesday, December 7th (14:00—15:30); Thursday, December 8th (13:10—14:40)
- where: TAU (directly at the Astronomical Institute of Charles University)
- abstract:

In this short course I will present some aspects of the dynamics of celestial bodies in the regime of classical Newtonian mechanics. I will introduce the classical Newtonian N-body problem in its mathematical aspects, necessary to approach of the dynamics of planetary systems (few body systems, realm of celestial mechanics), stellar clusters, galaxies and clusters of galaxies (intermediate N and large N-body systems). In the second part I will present and discuss some numerical issues in dealing with the classical N-body problem.


Past years

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the lectures in the academic year 2021/2022 were held online, only
10/2021—11/2021 Jiří Krtička (Department of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, Masaryk University, Brno): Stellar winds: from cool dwarfs to hot supergiants - slides 1, 2, 3
11/2021—12/2021 Miroslav Brož (Astronomical Institute of Charles University, Prague): Non-gravitational and tidal forces acting on asteroids - some materials may still be here
12/2021 Hosein Haghi (Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences, Zanjan, Iran & University of Bonn, Germany): Introduction to the dynamics of collisional stellar systems: the early life of star clusters - slides 1, 2
12/2021—1/2022 Giacomo Beccari (European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany): Introduction to observational astronomy and ESO facilities - slides 1, 2, 3, 4

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all of the lectures in the academic year 2020/2021 were held online, only
9—10/2020 František Dinnbier (Astronomical Institute of Charles University, Prague): Star clusters as dynamical objects in the galactic ecosystem - slides 1, 2
11/2020 Kateřina Chrbolková (Astronomical Institute of Charles University, Prague & Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, Finland): Space weathering - pandemic in the Solar System - slides 1
12/2020—1/2021 Ondřej Chrenko (Astronomical Institute of Charles University, Prague): Planet migration in protoplanetary disks - an astrophysical migrant crisis? - slides 1-online, 1-pdf, 2-online, 2-pdf, 3-online, 3-pdf
pre-recorded Vladimír Kopecký Jr. (Institute of Physics of Charles University, Prague): Selected chapters on astrobiology - some materials on request (not guaranteed)

10/2019 Klára Kalousová (Department of Geophysics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Prague): Icy moons in the Solar System - slides 1, 2, 3, 4
11/2019 Sambaran Banerjee (University of Bonn, Germany): Dynamics of black holes in dense stellar systems - slides & movies 1, 2, 3, m1, m2
11/2019 Anabella Araudo (ELI Beamlines, Dolní Břežany & Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague): Diffusive shock acceleration - slides 1, 2, 3
11/2019—1/2020 Pavel Ševeček (Astronomical Institute of Charles University, Prague): Numerical solution of partial differential equations - slides, movies, simulations, example codes
12/2019 Sverre Aarseth (University of Cambridge, UK): N-body methods and algorithms - slides

10/2018 Jaroslav Dudík (Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague): On the outer solar atmosphere - slides & movies 1, 2, 3, m1, m2, m3, m4
10—12/2018 Jakub Řípa (Astronomical Institute of Charles University, Prague & MTA-Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary): Introduction to gamma-ray burst astrophysics - slides 1, 2, 3, 4
11 & 12/2018 Ondřej Pejcha (Institute of Theoretical Physics, Charles University, Prague): Astrophysics of gravitational wave sources - slides 1, 2, 3
1/2019 Hongsheng Zhao (School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, UK): An introduction to gravitational microlensing - slides available upon request; further reading on this Wikipedia page

10/2017 Anatoly Miroshnichenko (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA): The emerging variety of binary systems among objects with gas-and-dust envelopes - slides
10 & 11/2017 Rhys Taylor (Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague): The dark side of galaxy evolution - slides 1, 2, 3, 4
11/2017 Robert Williams (Space Telescope Science Institute & Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA): Emission-line spectroscopy and analysis - slides 1, 2, 3, 4
11 & 12/2017 Petr Brož (Institute of Geophysics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague): Vulkanismus ve sluneční soustavě - slides 1, 2, 3, 4
12/2017 & 1/2018   Jörg Dabringhausen (Astronomical Institute of Charles University, Prague): An introduction to dwarf galaxies - slides 1, 2, 3
1/2018 Michael Fellhauer (University of Concepción, Chile): The survival of star clusters - slides

11/2016 Douglas Heggie (University of Edinburgh, UK): Computation and astrophysics of the N-body problem - slides
11/2016 Jason Dexter (Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany): The Galactic Centre black hole laboratory - slides 1, 2, 3, 4
12/2016 & 1/2017   Pavel Kroupa (University of Bonn, Germany; Astronomical Institute of Charles University, Prague): Modern advances in galactic astrophysics: from scale-invariant dynamics to a successful theory of galaxy formation and evolution - slides 1, 2, 3, 4

10 & 11/2015 Petr Kabáth (Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Ondřejov): Exoplanety - slides 1, 2, 3, 4
11/2015 & 1/2016   Attila Mészáros (Astronomical Institute of Charles University, Prague), Martin Jelínek (Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Ondřejov): Zábleskové zdroje záření gama - slides 1, 2
11 & 12/2015 Pavel Kroupa (University of Bonn, Germany): Stellar populations and star clusters as galactic building blocks - slides 1, 2, 3, 4

Very past years

říjen 2014 Frédéric Marin (AsÚ AVČR): Astrophysical polarimetry (prezentace 1., 2. a 3. část)
listopad 2014 Aleš Bezděk (AsÚ AVČR): Gravitační pole Země: nová pozorování a poznatky z umělých družic (prezentace)
prosinec 2014 Miroslav Bárta (AsÚ AVČR): Úvod do numerických metod řešení PDE a jejich aplikace v astrofyzice (prezentace)

říjen 2013 Brankica Šurlan (AsÚ AVČR): Hot massive star winds (články 1, 2, 3, ZIP) - prezentace 1., 2., 3. a 4. část
listopad 2013 Lukáš Shrbený (prezentace), Pavel Koten (prezentace), Jiří Borovička (prezentace) (AsÚ AVČR): Meteory
prosinec 2013 Jiří Svoboda (AsÚ AVČR): Jak se pozorují černé díry? (prezentace 1, 2, 3, 4)

říjen 2012 Petr Scheirich (AsÚ AVČR): Binární planetky (prezentace)
listopad 2012 Ondřej Čadek (Katedra geofyziky MFF UK): Slapové zahřívání a termální vývoj měsíců velkých planet (prezentace 1., 2., 3. a 4. část)
prosinec 2012 Pavel Jáchym (AsÚ AVČR): Úvod do milimetrové interferometrie (prezentace)

říjen 2011 Marco Delbo (Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur, Nice): Asteroids in Thermal Infrared (prezentace)
listopad 2011 Tomáš Pecháček (AsÚ AVČR): O třech statistických metodách (abstrakt, příklad ke zkoušce: zadání, data)
prosinec 2011 Adam Růžička (AsÚ AVČR): Genetické algoritmy

říjen 2010 David Čapek (AsÚ AVČR): Tepelné jevy v meteoroidech (prezentace 1., 2., 3. část )
listopad 2010 Richard Wünsch (AsÚ AVČR): Hydrodynamické simulace mezihvězdné hmoty (materiály k přednášce)
prosinec 2010 Michal Dovčiak (AsÚ AVČR): Aktivní galaktická jádra z pohledu rentgenové astrofyziky (materiály k přednášce: 1. část, 2. část, 3. část).

říjen 2009 Marek Abramowicz (Göteborg University, Sweden and Copernicus Astronomical Center, Warsaw, Poland): The black hole accretion (syllabus, naskenované poznámky z přednášek laskavě poskytl Ondřej Kopáček)
listopad 2009 Jiří Krtička (Masarykova univerzita, Brno): Hvězdný vítr (prezentace)
prosinec 2009  Vladimír Kopecký (FÚ UK): Astrobiologie (materiály ke stažení)

prosinec 2008 Michael Prouza (FÚ AVČR): Astrofyzika vysokých energií (prezentace 1. část, 2. část, doplňující materiály: astročásticová fyzika – ASPERA roadmap, kosmické záření – přehled, detekce nejenergetičtějších gama fotonů, oscilace neutrin, přímá detekce temné hmoty)
listopad 2008 Pavel Jáchym (AÚ AVČR): Kupy galaxií (prezentace 1., 2., 3. část )
říjen 2008 Michal Švanda (AÚ UK): Sluneční dynamo a fyzika konvektivní zóny (prezentace jsou vystaveny mezi materiály k přednášce Sluneční fyzika)

prosinec 2007 Teorie fotometrických a spektroskopických pozorování (Petr Škoda, AsÚ AVČR, prezentace 1. a 2. část) a ukázky zpracování v programu IRAF (Adéla Kawka, AsÚ AVČR; Marie Hrudková, AÚ UK)
listopad 2007 Miroslav Brož (AÚ UK): Tepelné jevy na planetkách
říjen 2007 Jakub Haloda (Česká geologická služba): Meteority – klasifikace, metody výzkumu a význam pro studium vzniku a vývoje těles sluneční soustavy (sylabus, přednáška)

prosinec 2006Adéla Kawka (AsÚ AVČR): White dwarfs
listopad 2006Jana Kašparová (AsÚ AVČR): Urychlené částice z pohledu sluneční rentgenové emise (1., 2., 3. a 4. část prezentace)
říjen 2006 Rene Goosmann (AsÚ AVČR): Active Galactic Nuclei and Galactic black holes in brief (abstrakt)

květen 2006 Michal Švanda (AsÚ AVČR & AÚ UK): Roztřeseným pohledem na jinak obyčejnou hvězdu za humny (prezentace, část o vývoji Slunce v budoucnosti, populární a přehledný text o helioseismologii, podrobný a více fyzikální text o helioseismologii a Christensen-Dalsgaard, J., 2002: Helioseismology, Reviews of Modern Physics, 74(4), 1073-1129)
duben 2006 Cyril Ron (AsÚ AVČR): Rotace Země její sledování (prezentace 1. a 2. část)
březen 2006 Marek Vandas (AsÚ AVČR): Sluneční vítr a heliosféra (sylabus)

prosinec 2005   David Heyrovský (ÚTF MFF UK): Gravitační čočky na mnoho způsobů (PDF ve velkém a malém rozlišení). Pro další studium je doporučen text R. Narayana a M. Bartelmanna, jenž je ke stažení na webu MPA v Garchingu.
listopad 2005 Bruno Jungwiert (AsÚ AVČR): Koevoluce galaxií a masivních černých děr
říjen 2005 Aleš Bezděk (AsÚ AVČR): Fyzika svrchní atmosféry a její výzkum pomocí umělých družic