Astronomy 736 and Physics 711
Lectures in Particle Astrophysics
An Introduction to the Field
John G. Learned
UHM, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
At Institute for Astronomy, Fern Room,
irregular Tuesdays at 2:00PM, as announced. Organizational meeting Tue, 1/11. First regular lecture, 1/18. Video connection will be
This Spring there will be an
aperiodic series of lectures at IfA on the general topic of "Particle
Astrophysics". The area is so large that brutal selection is needed. A
list of potential lecture topics follows, with dates and further addition or
subtraction of topics to be arranged. Suggestions welcome. Students signed up
for more than 1 credit should see instructor for planning a paper or report.
Topics (Evolving list):
- 1/11 Introduction What is Particle Astrophysics?
A Quick Tour of this Emerging Field, with a Bias Towards Neutrinos.
- 1/18 An Introduction
Particle Physics for Astronomers: What the Universe is Made of, and
Where are all those Particles Going?
- 1/25 What are Cosmic
Rays and Who Cares? 100 Years
and we Still do Not Know from Where they Come!
- 2/01 Cosmic Rays
- 2/08 Neutrino Mass
and Oscillations: What is this Craziness and Why All the Fuss? The Real Story about What Goes on in Deep Zinc
Mines in Japan.
- 2/15 Solar Gnus:
Where is half the Solar Luminosity in Neutrinos Disappearing? Are we finished with this task?
- 2/22 No lecture
- 3/01 There are 1015 eV and Higher Energy
Neutrinos Out There, And How Can We Catch 'Em?
- 3/08 Supernovae:
Neutrino Stars, for a
Little While. How to See them in Neutrinos, and the Marvels Revealed
- 3/15 More about
- 3/22 Spring Break
- 3/29 Gamma Ray
Bursts, the Mystery Goes On.
How a small Italian Satellite Kicked NASA's Butt. The Source of Cosmic
Rays and Other Wonders?
- 4/05 No lecture
- 4/12 TeV Gamma Ray
Astronomy: Finding Lots of
Sources after Many Years of Effort, including the Galactic Center! A
Future in Hawaii?
- 4/19 Proton Decay:
Diamonds are Not Forever, but
Might as Well Be. Why DO we Care and How We set Lifetimes 1024
x Age of Universe!
- 4/26 Dark Matters: A
Beastiary of Imagined Particles: WIMPS and Axions, SUSY and the LSPs,
QBALLS and Quark Nuggets, Monopoles and Majorons, and Other Things Your
Mother Told you to Avoid. No These are Not Rock Groups, but They Might
be The Missing Mass.
- 5/3 Hanohano: A Hawaiian
Based Deep Ocean Detector for Measuring the Earth’s Total Radioactivity
and Searching for a Reactor at the Core. Such a reactor may ultimately be the cause of the
Earth’s Magnetic Field.
There are a number of books available, though to my taste
none covers the field adequately.
I guess this is not surprising since the field is evolving so fast and
everyone’s definition of Particle Astrophysics is different. Here is an
annotated list of some of the most recent relevant volumes:
- “Particle Astrophysics”
by Don Perkins (Oxford 2003).
Has excellent introduction to particle physics for non-specialists. I think it is a little short on
some of the topics above, such as the origins of cosmic rays and
- “Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics” by Lars Bergstrom and Ariel Goobar (2nd
edition, Springer 2004). Has a strong introduction to cosmology. A bit more formal intro to
particle physics, and again a bit short, in my view, on the topics above.
- “High Energy Cosmic Rays” by
Todor Stanev (Springer 2003).
The best book around on Cosmic Rays. There are older books but I would start here for an overview
of the field, and quite a bit of detail on interactions in the atmosphere.
- “Neutrino Physics” by
Kai Zuber (IoP 2004). This is the best recent introduction to
everything you want to know about neutrinos.
- “Neutrino Astrophysics” by John Bahcall (Cambridge, 1989, but his web page says a new
version due out in 1998 though I have not seen it). This is the
definitive book about solar neutrinos. John’s web page is a great and
up-to-date resource on solar neutrinos (http://www.sns.ias.edu/~jnb/).
- “Current Aspects of Neutrino Physics”, David Caldwell, Editor (Springer 2001). One of the best overall
neutrino resources for experts (but I am biased as I wrote one of the
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