Lecture notes on stellar physics
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README.md

Stellar Astrophysics

Part of the Open Astrophysics Bookshelf. A pdf of these notes is available at http://www.pa.msu.edu/~ebrown/docs/stellar-notes.pdf.

These notes were written while teaching a graduate-level astronomy course on stars at Michigan State University. The only background preparation for this course is undergraduate physics and a course on radiative processes, and so portions of these notes could be useful for upper-level undergraduates.
The text layout uses the tufte-book LaTeX class: the main feature is a large right margin in which the students can take notes; this margin also holds small figures and sidenotes. Exercises are embedded throughout the text. These range from "reading exercises" to longer, more challenging problems. In addition, there are several numerical exercises that use the MESA stellar evolution code (tested for MESA version 10108, released 23 Oct 2017), available from http://mesa.sourceforge.net/. These numerical exercises are prefaced with the MESA logo, used by kind permission of the MESA council. Because the exercises are spread throughout the text, there is a "List of Exercises" in the front matter to help with looking for specific problems.

The course notes were originally meant as a supplement to the main text, Hansen, Kawaler, and Trimble (2004); in some editions of the course I also drew from Clayton (1983) and Kippenhahn and Weigert (1994). These notes therefore tend to expand upon topics not already covered there. In the second half of the course, the students typically gave presentations on current topics in stellar evolution, and I supplemented those with readings from the MESA instrument papers (Paxton et al. 2010, 2012). As a result my notes on topics of stellar evolution have lagged behind the rest of the text; I will update the repository as these chapters become ready.

If you do use these notes, I'd appreciate hearing about it! This helps justify my efforts in maintaining them and adding new material.

License

Except where explicitly noted, this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license.

Requirements for installing

  1. Either pdfLaTeX or XeLaTeX.
  2. tufte-book LaTeX class
  3. The starType macros. You can install this from the source; alternatively, a shell script install_local_starType is provided to automatically fetch the macros into the directory of this package.

To build

  1. For a default installation, simply make. This will build the document using pdfLaTeX.

  2. If you wish to use XeLaTeX, change line 2 of the makefile to read COMPILE=xelatex. In this case you will need the TeX Gyre Fonts installed.

    1. If you have Chaparral Pro, Source Code Pro, and Raleway Medium fonts available, add the option profonts to the \documentclass directive in AST208-notes.tex.
    2. If you wish to use the STIX fonts for greek letters, add the option stix to the \documentclass directive in AST208-notes.tex.