Astrophysical Magnetohydrodynamics in 24 hours
This course will consist of total 24 lectures each of one hour duration, but fortunately
not delivered without a break. The course will be spread over 10 weeks in the spring semester
of 2016. See the schedule at the bottom of this page for further details.
It is difficult to find one book which is appropriate for this course. Some of the material I intend to cover
is scattered over several books, some can be found in review articles. I list some of the sources below:
- If you have had not introduction to fluid mechanics then you should read these two wonderful lectures
by R.P. Feynman: Flow of dry water and
Flow of wet water .
Actually, even if you think you know fluid dynamics you should read these two lectures
if you have not read them before. These two chapters are part of the course materials, they shall be
referred as FL chapter 40 and FL chapter 41 respectively. The Feynman lectures are freely available online.
- If there is one book that can be called the textbook of this course, it would be
The physics of fluids and plasmas by Arnab Rai Choudhuri.
I believe it is a wonderful introductory text. The chapters in this book will often be the first step of
each topic I cover. In the detailed syllabus given below this book will be referred as PFP.
The Stockholm University library has one copy of this book, in addition the library has online
subscription to the websites of Cambridge where you can also find this book.
- I am also considering using a few chapters of Magnetohydrodynamics of the Sun , particularly those relevant to
the physics of reconnection and the Solar Corona. But I do not recommend this book for a more general purpose.
- I intend to cover turbulence in both fluids and plasmas, a topic that is at the center of astrophysics
but is rarely covered in course-work. An excellent textbook on this topic is
the book Turbulence, the legacy of A.N. Kolmogorov by Uriel Frisch.
- Another source that I most enthusiastically recommend is the collection of Proceedings of Summer Program in
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics run by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
Of particular interest in this course are the lectures by Willam R. Young
in the year 1999.
- A review paper by
Axel Brandenburg and
- You may also be interested to have a look at a set of lecture notes by Alexander Schekhochihin,
lectures on dynamos
and on MHD turbulence.
I assume that you have had a short course on fluid dynamics, typically the gas dynamics
course given in the fall semester by Stephan Rosswog. But this is not mandatory. What is mandatory,
however, is to have a good knowledge of classical mechanics, electrodynamics and statistical
mechanics as is expected in any advanced graduate student. Although the course is called
"astrophysical" masters and PhD students in physics are welcome.
This is the second time I am teaching this course. Taking into account the feedback from the students last time,
I have made some changes in the topics to be covered and the style. The lectures notes from last time (2016)
are available here. They would still be quite useful this time too. But this time
I am going to stay closer to the book: Physics of Fluids and Plasmas, PFP for short, mentioned before.
The preliminary organizational structure is as follows.
Parker's paper on solar wind :
In class we discussed Parker's paper twice, once when we discussed the static solutions of the solar corona
and second when we discussed the solar wind problem. I strongly suggest that you read Parker's original
paper which is one of the masterpieces of astrophysics. It can be downloaded here.
Notes of functionals :
The notes used in class to teach functionals is here.
Homework Set II :
Must be returned on 15th of February, can be found here.
- Background Reading Chapter 1 of PFP up to section 1.3