Computational Atomic Physics with Applications in Astrophysics

10 credits

Course, Master's level, 1FA261

Summer 2023 Summer 2023, Flexible, 50%, Distance learning, English

About the course

A summer course focused on theoretical atomic structure and processes in the context of astrophysical spectra. The course is taught from a practical, computational point of view using research-level scientific methods and codes with a strong emphasis on numerical ""experiments"".

The following subjects are introduced and used in practice throughout the course:

  • Atomic structure: the central-field approximation, electron correlation, relativistic effects, bound and continuum states.
  • Atomic processes: radiative transitions, photoionisation, electron scattering processes.
  • Methods: Hartree- and Dirac-Fock methods for computing non-relativistic and relativistic atomic structure, configuration-interaction and multi-configurational Hartree/Dirac-Fock to include electron correlation, Z-dependent perturbation theory to estimate how different atomic properties varies with the nuclear charge, R-matrix methods for radiative and electron scattering processes involving the continuum.
  • Applications: atomic parameters in the analysis of astrophysical spectra, basic plasma modelling in and out of equilibrium, partition functions, Saha-Boltzmann equations, setting up and solving the rate equations.

Outline for distance course: Communication between teachers and students is done using the learning management system and e-meeting tools. A computer with a stable internet connection and webcam is required. The course is organised in two parts. The first part consists of lectures and workshops during the first 4–5 weeks (until mid-July). The second part consists of a larger project that will be conducted during 2 weeks (distributed during July and August after agreement with the allocated supervisor). The course ends with a common seminar where the projects are presented.