Interstellar Medium - Spring 2018

Masters Course in Astronomy, Leiden University

LECTURER: Prof. Xander Tielens
ASSISTANTS: Kimberly Emig, Cornelia Pabst

The space between the stars is filled with matter, magnetic fields, and radiation. This course describes this ‘interstellar medium’ as an an integral part of galactic ‘ecosystems’. It provides an overview of the known constituents of the ISM (ionized, atomic, and molecular gas; dust; magnetic fields; cosmic rays; EM radiation), and the different environments in which these are encountered (the 2- and 3-phase models of the ISM) along with the observational diagnostics (atomic and molecular spectroscopy; spectral energy distributions). It discusses the physical processes that govern the interactions within the ISM and with stars (energy balance; shocks). And it highlights the relationships between the ISM and stars and their host galaxies (birth and death of stars; supernovae; nuclei of active galaxies).

For more information, see the e-Prospectus course description.

Please visit during office hours with any questions or discussion points throughout the course, or just contact us by email to meet at an alternative time. You can find us here:
Lectures will be held in room HL414 on Wednesdays from 13:30-14:15, 14:30-15:15.
Exercise classes (EC) will be held somewhat bi-weekly (see below) following lecture, in room HL414 from 15:30-16:15, 16:30-17:15. A homework assignment will be due each day an EC is held -- thus six assignments in total -- and at 13:30, at the start of the day's lecture.
We are also inlcuding an outline of the course content as a guide for following along with the book and lecture material.

Date Activity TENTATIVE Topic Slides Assignment
Feb 7 Lecture Intro + HII regions Lecture 1: Intro + Ecology
Feb 14 Lecture HII regions Lecture 2: HII regions
Feb 21 Lecture + EC HII regions / Phases Assignment 1, EC 1 in-class
Feb 28 Lecture Phases of the ISM
Mar 7 Lecture + EC Phases of the ISM Lecture 3: Phases of the ISM Assignment 2
Mar 14 Lecture PDRs
Mar 21 NO CLASS (Betabanenmarkt)
Mar 28 Lecture PDRs / PAHs Lecture 4: PDRs
Apr 4 Lab tour + EC no Xander, EC canceled Assignment 3
Apr 11 Lecture + EC PAHs Lecture 5: PAHs Assignment 4
Apr 18 Lecture Dust Lecture 6: Dust
Apr 25 Lecture + EC Molecular Clouds Assignment 5
May 2 Lecture Molecular Clouds Lecture 7: MC
May 9 Lecture + EC Shocks + dynamics Lecture 8: Shocks & Dynamics Assignment 6
May 24 Exam
Jun 20 Re-take Exam

The final exam takes place Thursday, May 24 from 10:00-13:00 in room HL414.
The exam grades can be found here, listed as student number and score.
The re-take exam will be held Wed, June 20 from 14:00-17:00 in HL207.
The grades of the re-take exam can be found here, listed as student number and score.