Astrophysics 615
Mike Guidry (
Office: 308 South College
Spring, 2015

Class Meeting Times

12:40-1:55PM, Tuesday and Thursday, Nielsen Physics 512


Theoretical Astrophysics, Mike Guidry (draft of chapters to be covered will be available as PDF files at the link below)

Link to chapter PDF files for Theoretical Astrophysics (Chs. 1-14 will be covered in Astro 615; additional chapters are for Astro 616).

In-Class Lectures


  1. Homework 20% (Not graded, but solutions will be provided). 100% for homework turned in on time and complete. Minus 5% per day for late or incomplete. Here is the homework assignment schedule and here are solution sheets for assigned exercises (do not consult solutions before you have turned in assignments!).

  2. Midterm Test 40%

  3. Final Test 40%

Optional Extra Credit

1. Up to 5 points added to final average for a presentation in astrophysics or some other recognized seminar at UT or ORNL (e.g., the particle physics or nuclear physics seminars). Topic can be journal-club or research in nature. You must notify me of your intentions so that I can approve the topic and schedule to attend.

2. From 1-5 points added to final average for development of software relevant for material in the course (e.g., Maple worksheets or Java programs). RULES: (a) Must be cleared by me as appropriate; (b) Must be a useful learning tool and use reasonably modern and sophisticated methods (no COBOL or Excel spread sheets; let's set Maple worksheets as the minimal acceptable level of sophistication); (c) Must be user-friendly with sufficient documentation that another student in the class could use it based on the documentation; (d) Must be made available to all members of the class; (e) Must be usable without having to buy extra software. (For example, a Maple worksheet is acceptable because there is a UT site license for Maple, but something requiring Mathematica is not if a user must have Mathematica to run it. Languages such as Java or Android are acceptable because they compile to executables that run in free players or virtual machines, and compiled code like C, F90, or C++ is obviously acceptable if packaged as an executable and documented.)


Potentially useful Maple worksheets and tutorials (binary files, so transfer to your machine and open with Maple11 or later). The tutorials were written by others, not by me. The standalone Maple worksheets are mostly mine. Some may be not completely debugged and tested, so they have worked as tested but they are offered as-is with no warranties. UT has site licenses for both Maple and MatLab (see ). Both are useful for problems of the sort encountered in this course and I encourage you to learn to use them if you haven't already.

Also available are Supplemental tables and compilations that may be useful, particularly for working some problems.

Students with Disabilities

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a documented disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 2227 Dunford Hall (telephone/TTY 865-974-6087; e-mail to ensure that you are properly registered for services.