Undergraduate Course: Radiation and Matter (PHYS11020)
Course Outline
School  School of Physics and Astronomy 
College  College of Science and Engineering 
Course type  Standard 
Availability  Available to all students 
Credit level (Normal year taken)  SCQF Level 11 (Year 4 Undergraduate) 
Credits  10 
Home subject area  Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) 
Other subject area  None 
Course website 
None 
Taught in Gaelic?  No 
Course description  We start by learning the physics of radiation and its quantal interaction with matter, then go on to study this interaction in various astrophysical environments to define the nature and limitations of observation. Finally we apply these techniques to several important and characteristic astronomical observations, such as the 21cm radiation of atomic hydrogen used to weigh galaxies, the carbon monoxide emission used to map star nurseries, and the hydrogen Lyman alpha line forest used to determine the distribution of galaxyforming matter throughout the Universe. 
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Prerequisites 

Corequisites  
Prohibited Combinations  
Other requirements  At least 80 credit points accrued incourses of SCQF Level 9 or 10 drawn from Schedule Q. 
Additional Costs  None 
Information for Visiting Students
Prerequisites  None 
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?  Yes 
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered 
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
1)write Maxwell's equations, demonstrate that these can be expressed gauge covariant potentials; show that they lead to definitions of energy density and flux in the radiation field, outline derive the wave equation for the potential;
2)write the solution to the wave equation, demonstrate that in the wave zone it consists of spherical waves with 1/r amplitude dependence and speed c, and give the explicit results for point charges from which field and flux are derived;
3)apply these results to simple examples;
4)describe the free electromagnetic field in terms of SHM modes;
5)by comparison with quantized SHM, describe the properties of photons;
6)describe the nature of gauge invariance in wave functions and electromagnetism, and hence derive the interaction Hamiltonian; use Fermi's golden rule to give the transition rate;
7)(with guidance) derive the dipole transition rate and outline those for magnetic dipole and electric quadrupole;
8)be able to calculate intensity and flux density from a uniform source in terms of its density and temperature, and of the transition rates and collision cross sections;
9)be able to calculate and explain the appearance of emission and absoption lines in terms of optical depth and the above local physical properties of the source;
10)understand and be able to derive in outline a variety of astronomically important examples of line emission and absorption  in particular the Lyman alpha and 21cm lines of H, the rotational emission from CO and the diagnostics of temperature and density obtainable from fine structure transitions in oxygen (and other) ions;
11)be able to apply these techniques to predict and interpret observational results in a variety of simple cases involving line emission and absorption. 
Assessment Information
Degree Examination, 100% 
Special Arrangements
None 
Additional Information
Academic description 
Not entered 
Syllabus 
Not entered 
Transferable skills 
Not entered 
Reading list 
Not entered 
Study Abroad 
Not entered 
Study Pattern 
Not entered 
Keywords  RandM 
Contacts
Course organiser  Prof James Dunlop
Tel: (0131) 668 8349
Email: jsd@roe.ac.uk 
Course secretary  Miss Paula Wilkie
Tel: (0131) 668 8403
Email: Paula.Wilkie@ed.ac.uk 

