IBDP Physics Chapter 12 Notes

Astrophysics Theory

STUDY NOTES FOR physics CHAPTER 12 – Astrophysics Theory

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The curriculum for Physics IBDP is designed in such a way to bring students and readers alike to the frontiers of modern science and elevate the spirit of scientific inquiry in their minds. The topics in the syllabus range from the ancient science of the Greeks to modern disciplines like Atomic and Astrophysics, which makes the students aware of the entire spectrum of the discoveries and advances in Physics alongside the rationale and its purpose. As such the chapters are divided by classical and modern distinctions: classical chapters include Newtonian Mechanics describe the original theories of motion and movement, Thermodynamics talk about our original assumptions of ideal gas and principles of heat and temperature, while Electrodynamics cover the interconnected universe of electricity, magnetism and electromagnetic waves, and the various properties and phenomena associated with them.

In contrast lies the topics of Modern Science, ranging from Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics to the more advanced study of motion in Einstein’s Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. A complete understanding of these topics will render any reader with the amazing ability to apply Physics to every corner of life, ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary; prepare them prepare them for only a future in an advanced scientific discipline, but also in fields like Economics, Finance and Technology, all of which require a scientific mindset at their core. 

In this chapter of Astrophysics, we begin with an introduction of stellar objects like the sun, the moon, the stars, the planets and the galaxies. We further discuss astronomical distances and units, luminosity and brightness of a star and analysis of stellar absorption and emission spectra.

On the basis of the star’s luminosity, we classify them in various classes according to the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. The evolution of a star is briefly explained, with its various life stages detailed, like the Sun, for instance. Lastly, we move to cosmology and the deep unanswered questions of the universe’s curvature, its ever going expansion and its origin from the Big Bang.