The aim of this lecture series is fourfold: first, to acquaint the students with the basics of theoretical N-body dynamics; second, to give a brief overview of the astrophysical problems that be attacked with this theory; third, to consider the specific computational aspects of these equations, and how to cast them in the form of usable algorithms; fourth, to implement these in robust computer code and apply this to a simple but realistic case. These lectures will be given in parallel with, and matched to, the lecture series by Dr. Hopman on Stellar Dynamics.
In parallel with the lectures, a sequence of practical (computer) exercises will lead towards the goal in which each student ends up with an elementary, but well-functioning, N-body code. The basis for this was provided by Dr. Portegies Zwart from the University of Amsterdam. It is assumed that the students know classical mechanics, thermodynamics, ordinary differential equations, basic astronomy, and (preferably) the beginnings of the computer language C. This is a course on the Master's level, but it should be accessible to well-motivated students in their final Bachelor's year. The exam will take the form of a written paper that describes a systematic and critical application of the code, as one would in a research paper.
|Lecturer||Prof. Dr. V. Icke|
|Assistants||P. Beirao , R.P.C. Wiersma|
|Target group||Senior undergraduate students|
|Period||September 27 through December 20, 2008 (HL 427)|
|Examination||The exam will take the form of a written paper that describes a systematic and critical application of the code, as one would in a research paper.|
|Level/Appreciation||400, 3 EC|