Venue: Online

Class timings:  Wednesdays from 3:30 pm-5:00 pm & Fridays from 2:15pm-3:45pm 

First meeting: 13th Jan 2021

Plan: 15 lectures + 15 tutorials (each 90 mins; 45 contact hrs) 

Course description: This course aims to provide a general introduction to the physics and astrophysics of compact objects, and compact-object binaries. We will start with introductory topics and will end by surveying some of the current research. We will draw content from several textbooks and review articles. 

Stellar structure, evolution, and collapse - 3 lectures 

  • Hydrostatic equilibrium, Equations of stellar structure, Solutions to equations of stellar structure, Stellar evolution, Gravitational collapse, and supernovae. 

White dwarfs - 3 lectures

  • Electron degeneracy pressure, Structure of white dwarfs, Chandrasekhar limit, Mass-radius relation of white dwarfs. 

Neutron stars - 3 lectures

  • Equation of state at higher densities, Structure of neutron stars, Mass limit of neutron stars, Mass-radius relation of neutron stars, Pulsars. 

Black holes - 3 lectures

  • Schwarzschild solution, Particle and photon orbits in Schwarzschild geometry, Kerr solution, Astrophysical black holes, x-ray binaries, galactic nuclei. 

Exotic compact objects - 1 lecture

  • Exotic objects and their possible observational signatures. 

Compact object binaries - 2 lectures

  • Compact binary evolution, Binary pulsars, Compact binary coalescence, their gravitational-wave signatures. 

References (not exclusive): 

  • Saul Teukolsky and Stuart L. Shapiro. Black Holes, White Dwarfs, and Neutron Stars: The Physics of Compact Objects (Wiley-VCH; 1983). 

  • T. Padmanabhan, Theoretical Astrophysics: Volume 2, Stars and Stellar Systems (Cambridge 2001). 

  • Bernard F. Schutz, A First Course in General Relativity (Cambridge, 2009).

Evaluation: 70% based on assignments and homework. 30% based on final term paper.