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Astrophysics Formulas

Physical Constants
Name Symbol Value Unit
Number 3.14159265358979323846
Number e e 2.71828182845904523536
Eulers constant = lim
n
_
n

k=1
1/k ln(n)
_
= 0.5772156649
Elementary charge e 1.60217733 10
19
C
Gravitational constant G, 6.67259 10
11
m
3
kg
1
s
2
Fine-structure constant = e
2
/2hc
0
1/137
Speed of light in vacuum c 2.99792458 10
8
m/s (def)
Permittivity of the vacuum
0
8.854187 10
12
F/m
Permeability of the vacuum
0
4 10
7
H/m
(4
0
)
1
8.9876 10
9
Nm
2
C
2
Plancks constant h 6.6260755 10
34
Js
Diracs constant = h/2 1.0545727 10
34
Js
Bohr magneton
B
= e/2m
e
9.2741 10
24
Am
2
Bohr radius a
0
0.52918

A
Rydbergs constant Ry 13.595 eV
Electron Compton wavelength
Ce
= h/c 2.2463 10
12
m
Proton Compton wavelength
Cp
= h/m
p
c 1.3214 10
15
m
Reduced mass of the H-atom
H
9.1045755 10
31
kg
Stefan-Boltzmanns constant 5.67032 10
8
Wm
2
K
4
Wiens constant k
W
2.8978 10
3
mK
Molar gasconstant R 8.31441 Jmol
1
K
1
Avogadros constant N
A
6.0221367 10
23
mol
1
Boltzmanns constant k = R/N
A
1.380658 10
23
J/K
Electron mass m
e
9.1093897 10
31
kg
Proton mass m
p
1.6726231 10
27
kg
Neutron mass m
n
1.674954 10
27
kg
Elementary mass unit m
u
=
1
12
m(
12
6
C) 1.6605656 10
27
kg
Nuclear magneton
N
5.0508 10
27
J/T
Diameter of the Sun D

1392 10
6
m
Mass of the Sun M

1.989 10
30
kg
Rotational period of the Sun T

25.38 days
Radius of Earth R
A
6.378 10
6
m
Mass of Earth M
A
5.976 10
24
kg
Rotational period of Earth T
A
23.96 hours
Earth orbital period Tropical year 365.24219879 days
Astronomical unit AU 1.4959787066 10
11
m
Light year lj 9.4605 10
15
m
Parsec pc 3.0857 10
16
m
Hubble constant H (75 25) kms
1
Mpc
1
1
Chapter 2: Celestial Mechanics
r
p
= a(1 e) (1)
r
a
= a(1 +e) (2)
P =
2r
v
(3)
=
2
P
(4)
F = G
Mm
r
2
(5)
U = G
Mm
r
(6)
E
kin
=
1
2
mv
2
(7)
E
tot
= E
kin
+U =
1
2
mv
2
G
Mm
r
(8)
v
esc
=
_
2GM/r (9)

m
1
m
2
m
1
+m
2
(10)
r
1
=

m
1
r (11)
r
2
=

m
2
r (12)
E =
1
2
m
1
|v
1
|
2
+
1
2
m
2
|v
2
|
2
G
m
1
m
2
|r
2
r
1
|
(13)
E =
1
2
v
2
G
M
r
(14)
L = m
1
r
1
v
1
+m
2
r
2
v
2
(15)
= r v = r p (16)
L =
_
GMa(1 e
2
) (17)
L = rv (18)
P
2
=
4
2
G(m
1
+ m
2
)
a
3
(19)
a = a
1
+a
2
(20)
Virial Theorem
E =
1
2
U (21)
Chapter 3: The continues spectrum of
light
d =
1
p

pc (22)
F =
L
4r
2
(23)
c = (24)
Double Slit Interference
dsin = n(n = 0, 1, 2, ..brightfringes) (25)
dsin = (n
1
2
)(n = 1, 2, ..darkfringes)
(26)
Radiation Pressure and Force
absorption
F
rad
=
F
flux
A
c
(27)
reection
F
rad
=
2F
flux
A
c
(28)
Blackbody Radiation

max
T = 2.89 10
3
mK (29)
L = AT
4
(30)
= 4R
2
T
4
e
(31)
F
surf
= T
4
e
(32)
Planck Function
B

(T) =
2hc
2
/
5
e
hc/kT
1
(33)
B

(T) =
2h
3
/c
2
e
h/kT
1
(34)
B

(T)ddAcosd = B

(T)ddAcossindd
B

(T)ddAcosd = B

(T)ddAcossindd
d sindd
L

d = 4R
2
B

d
_

0
B

(T)d =
T
4

d =
L

4r
2
d (35)
=
2hc
2
/
5
e
hc/kT
1
_
R
r
_
2
d (36)
2
Chapter 5: The Interaction of Light and
Matter
F = k
q
1
q
2
r
2
(37)
Balmer Series
1

= R
H
_
1
4

1
n
2
_
(38)
1

= R
H
_
1
m
2

1
n
2
_
(39)

obs

rest

rest
=

rest
=
v
r
c
(40)
Photons
E
photon
= h =
hc

= pc (41)
K
max
= E
photon
= h =
hc

(42)
=
f

i
=
h
m
e
c
(1 cos) (43)
E
n
=
13.6eV
n
2
(44)
E
photon
= E
high
E
low
(45)
=
E
h
(46)
=
h
p
(47)
xp

2
(48)
xp (49)
Et (50)
l = 0, 1, 2, ..., n 1 (51)
m
l
= l, l + 1, .., 0, .., l 1, l (52)
m
s
=
1
2
(53)
L =
_
l(l + 1) (54)
Zeeman Eect
=
0
(55)

eB
4
(56)
S =

1
2
_
1
2
+ 1
_
=

3
2
(57)
Chapter 6:Telescopes
n
1
sin
1
= n
2
sin
2
(58)
1
f

= (n

1)
_
1
R
1

1
R
2
_
(59)
d
dy
=
1
f
(60)

min
= 1.22

D
(61)
Spectral Flux Density
P =
_
A
_

S()f

ddA (62)
P = SA (63)
Chapter 7: Binary Systems and Stellar
Parameters
mass determination using visual binaries
m
1
m
2
=
r
2
r
1
=
a
2
a
1
(64)

1
=
a
1
d
(65)

2
=
a
2
d
(66)
m
1
m
2
=

2

1
(67)
Eclipsing spectroscopic binaries
m
1
v
1
= m
2
v
2
(68)
v
r
= v
t
sini (69)
Keplers law states
P
2
=
4
2
G(m
1
+ m
2
)
a
3
(70)
conservation of angular momentum
m
1
m
2
=
v
2
v
1
(71)
a = (a
1
+a
2
) =
p
2 sin i
(v
1r
+v
2r
) (72)
combine this with keplers law and we get
m
1
m
2
=
v
2r
/sini
v
1r
/sini
=
v
2r
v
1r
(73)
3
m
1
+m
2
=
P
2G
(v
1r
+v
2r
)
3
sin
3
i
(74)
r
s
=
v
2
(t
b
t
a
) (75)
r
l
=
v
2
(t
c
t
a
) = r
s
+
v
2
(t
c
t
b
) (76)
B
0
B
p
B
0
B
s
=
_
T
s
T
l
_
4
(77)
Chapter 8: The Classication of stellar
spectra
Boltzman distribution function
n
v
dv = n
_
m
2kT
_
3/2
e
mv
2
/2kT
4v
2
dv (78)
v
mp
=
_
2kT
m
(79)
v
rms
=
_
3kT
m
(80)
Boltzman Equation
N
b
N
a
=
g
b
g
a
e
(E
b
Ea)/kT
(81)
Partition Function
z =

j=1
g
j
e
(EjE1)/kT
(82)
Saha Equation
N
i+1
N
i
=
2Z
i+1
n
e
Z
i
_
2m
e
kT
h
2
_
3/2
e
i/kT
(83)
P
e
= n
e
kT (84)
N
i+1
N
i
=
2kTZ
i+1
P
e
Z
i
_
2m
e
kT
h
2
_
3/2
e
i/kT
(85)
R =
1
T
2
e
_
L
4
(86)
Chapter 9: Stellar Atmospheres
Specic and mean Intensities
E

(87)
I

d
ddtdAcosd
(88)
E

d = I

ddtdAcosd = I

ddtdAcos sin dd
(89)
mean intensity
I


1
4
_
I

d =
1
4
_
2
=0
_

=0
I

sin dd
(90)
specic Energy Density
u

d =
1
c
_
I

dd =
4
c
I

(91)
For an isotropic radiation eld and for blackbody
radiation
u

d =
4
c
B

d (92)
u

d =
4
c
B

d (93)
for blackbody radiation (I

= B

)
u =
4
c
_

0
B

(T)d =
4T
4
c
= aT
4
(94)
Specic Radiative ux
F

d =
_
I

dcos d (95)
d sin dd (96)
for an isotropic radiation eld F

= 0
Radiation Pressure
P
rad,
d =
1
c
_
sphere
Idcos
2
d =
4
3c
I

d
(97)
P
rad
=
_

0
P
rad,
d (98)
for blackbody radiation
P
rad
=
4
3c
_

0
B

(T)d =
1
3
u (99)
Stellar Opacity
scale height
H
T

T
|dT/dr|
(100)
mean free path
l =
vt
nvt
=
1
n
(101)
the collision cross section
=cross sectional area of absorption
The Denition of Opacity
dI

= I

ds (102)
=
_
s
0

ds =

s (103)
4
= ns (104)
I
out
= I
in
e

(105)
I
out
= I
in
e
sec
(106)
equation 102 is for atmospheres
bound-free absorption

bf
= 1.31 10
19
1
n
5
_

500nm
_
3
m
2
(107)
electron scattering

T
= 6.65 10

29m
2
(108)
Rosseland Mean opacity
1


_

0
1

B(T)
T
d
_

0
B(T)
T
d
(109)
radiative transfer
dP
rad
dr
=

c
F
rad
(110)

dI

ds
= I

(111)
where S

is the source function


dP
rad
d

=
1
c
F
rad
(112)
Eddington Approximation
T
4
=
3
4
T
4
e
_

+
2
3
_
(113)
Ch 10: The Interior of Stars
Hydrostatic Equilibrium
dP
dr
= G
M
r

r
2
= g (114)
mass conservation equation
dM
r
dr
= 4r
2
(115)
pressure equation of state
PV = NkT (116)
pressure integral
P =
1
3
_

0
n
p
pvdp (117)
P =
1
3
_

0
n
p
pvdp (118)
p = mv
P =
1
3
_

0
mn
v
v
2
dv (119)

m
mH
P
g
=
kT
m
H
(120)
P
center
=
GM
r
(121)
average kinetic energy per particle
1
2
m

v
2
=
3
2
kT (122)
P
rad
=
1
3
4
c
T
4
=
1
3
at
4
(123)
combining ideal and radiation pressure
P
t
=
kT
m
H
+
1
3
aT
4
(124)
stellar energy sources
U
g

3
5
GM
2
R
(125)
using Virial theorem
E
t

3
10
GM
2
R
(126)
t
KH
=
E
g
L

=
E
nuclear
L

(127)
binding energy per nucleon
E
b
= mc
2
= [Z
mp
+ (A Z)m
p
m
nucleus
]c
2
(128)
energy transport and theromdynamics
dT
dr
=
3
4ac

T
3
L
r
4r
2
(129)
pressure scale height
H
p
=
P
g
(130)
for an ideal gas
U =
3
2
nRT (131)
specic heats
C
p

Q
T p
andC
v

Q
T p
(132)
C
p
= C
v
+nR (133)
The adiabatic tempeture gradiant
dP
dr
=
P

d
dr
+
P

d
dr
+
P
T
dT
dr
(134)
5
P = K

(135)
criterion for stellar convection
dlnP
dlnT
<

1
(136)
Entropy
dS
dQ
T
(137)
energy generation rate

gravity
= T
dS
dt
(138)
if star is collapsing
gravity
< 0 and if it is ex-
panding
gravity
> 0
Lane-Emden Equation
1

2
d
d
_

2
dD
n
d
_
= D
n
n
(139)
polytropic equation of state
P
n
(r) = K
(n+1)/n
(140)
K
_
3(1 )
a
_
1/3
_
k
m
H
_
(141)
Eddington Limit
L
Ed
=
4Gc

M (142)
Equations of Stellar Structures
Hydrostatic Equilibrium
dP
dr
= g =
GM
r
r
2
(143)
P
M
r
=
GM
r
4r
2
(144)
Inclosed Mass
dM
r
dr
= 4r
2
(145)
Radius Equation
r
M
r
=
1
4r
2

(146)
Radiative Diusion
dT
dr
=
3
16T
3
L
r
4r
2
=
3
16T
3
F
net
(147)
T
M
r
=
3

L
r
256
2
T
3
r
4
(148)
Heat equation
T
S
t
=
L
r
M
r
+E (149)
Luminosity Equation
dL
r
dr
= 4r
2
E (150)
E =
J
s kg
(151)
Equation of state
P = nk
b
T +
1
3
aT
4
=
T

+
4
3c
T
4
(152)
Chapter 11:The Sun
dM
r
= 4r
2
dr (153)
The Lorentz force equation
F = q(E +v B) (154)
The Parker wind model
dP
dr
=
GM

r
2
(155)
n

m
p
(156)
P = 2nkT (157)
where =1/2 for ionized hydrogen and m
h

m
p
d
dr
(2nkT) =
GM

nm
p
r
2
(158)
n(r) = n
0
e
(1r0/r)
(159)
where

GM

m
p
2ktr
0
(160)
and n = n
0
at some radius r = r
0
, and the
pressure structure equation is
P(r) = P
0
e
(1r0/r)
(161)
where P
0
= 2nkT
6
The hydrodynamic nature of the upper solar
sphere.
The outward ux of wave energy,F
e
is gov-
erned by the expression
F
e
=
1
2
v
2

v
s
(162)
where v
s
4 is the local sound speed and v

is the velocity amplitude of the oscillatory wave


motion for each idividual particles being driven
about their equilibrium position by the piston
of the convection zone.
v
s
=
_
P/ =

kT
m
h

T (163)
Chapter 12: The Interstellar Medium and
Star Formation
Jeans Mass
M
j

_
15kT
Gm
H
_
3/2
_
3
4
0
_
(164)
Jeans length
R
j

_
15kT
4Gm
H

0
_
1/2
(165)
Bonnor-Ebert mass
M
BE
=
c
BE
v
4
T
P
1/2
0
G
3/2
(166)
where
v
T

_
kt/m
H
(167)
and
c
BE
1.18 (168)
Homologous Collapse
free-fall timescale
t
ff
=
_
3
32
1
G
0
_
1/2
(169)
Stromgren radius
r
s

_
3N
4
_
1/3
n
2/3
H
(170)
Chapter 13: Main Sequence and Post-
Main-Sequence Stellar Evolution
The schonberg-Chandrasekhar Limit
_
M
ic
M
_

env

ic
_
2
(171)
Degenerate Electron Gas
P
e
= K
5/3
(172)
Chapter 14: Stellar Pulsation
period-luminosity relation
M
(V )
= 2.81 log
10
P
d
1.43 (173)
where M
(V )
is the average absolute V magni-
tude and P
d
is the pulsation period in untis of
days. In terms of the average luminosity of the
star, the relation is given by
log
10
L
L

= 1.15 log
10
P
d
+ 2.47 (174)
The infrared period-luminosity t is given by
H = 3.234 log
10
P
d
+ 16.0798 (175)
period-luminosity-color relation
H = 3.428 log
10
P
d
+ 1.54(J K
s
) + 15.637
(176)
adiabatic sound speed
v
s
=

(177)
The pulsation period is given by

_
3
2G
(178)
buoyancy frequency
N =
_
Ag =

_
1
P
dP
dr

1

d
dr
_
g (179)
7
Chapter 15: The Fate of Massive Stars
Eddington Luminosity
L
ED
=
4Gc

M (180)
radioactive decay
dN
dt
= N (181)
N(t) = N
0
e
t
(182)
half-life

1/2
=
ln 2

(183)
Chapter 16: The Degenerate Remnants of
Stars
Fermi Energy

F
=
_
3
2
n

_
2/3
(184)
n
e
=
_
Z
A
_

m
H
(185)

F
=
_
3
2
_
Z
A
_

mH

_
2/3
(186)
the condition for degeneracy may be written
as
T

2/3
< D (187)
D 1261k m
2
kg
2/3
(188)
pressure due to a completely degenerate, non-
relativistic electron gas
P =
(362)
2/3
5

2
m
e
n
5/3
e
(189)
this can also be written as
P =
(3
2
)
2/3
5

2
m
e
__
Z
A
_

m
H
_
5/3
(190)
mass-volume relation
R
WD

(18)
2/3
10

2
Gm
e
M
1/3
WD
__
Z
A
_
1
m
H
_
5/3
(191)
for relativistic electron gas
P =
(3
2
)
1/3
4
c
__
Z
A
_

m
H
_
4/3
(192)
Luminosity of a WD is given by
L
WD
= 6.65 10
3
_
M
WD
M

_

Z(1 +X)
(193)
Central Tempeture
T
c
=
_
L
WD
6.56 10
3
_
M

M
WD
_
Z(1 +X)

_
2/7
(194)
Neutron Stars
R
ns

(18)
2/3
10

2
GM
1/3
ns
_
1
m
H
_
8/3
(195)
Magnetic Field Lines

_
S
B dA (196)
B
ns
B
WD
_
R
WD
R
ns
_
2
(197)
Rotating Stars
centripital and gravitional accelerations at the
equator

2
max
R = G
M
R
2
(198)
so the minimum rotation period is P
min
=
2/
max
or
P
min
= 2
_
R
3
GM
(199)
magnetic dipole radiation
dE
dt
=
32
5
B
2
R
6
sin
2

3
0
c
3
P
4
(200)
magnetic eld at the pole
B =
1
2R
3
sin

3
0
c
3
IP

P
2
(201)
8
Chapter 17:General Relativity and Black
holes
F = G
Mm
r
2
(202)
The Principal of Equivalance
ma
g
= G
Mm
r
2
gravitationalforce (203)
ma
e
=
qQ
4
0
r
2
electricforce (204)
separating inertial mass and graviational
mass yields
a
g
= G
M
g
r
2
m
g
mi
(205)
a
e
=
1
4
0
qQ
r
2
1
m
i
(206)
The principal of equivalence:All local,freely
falling, non-rotating laboratories are fully equiv-
alent for the performance of all physical experi-
ments.
radius of curvature
r
c
=
c
2
g
=
R
2
c62
GM
(207)
gravitational redshift and time dilation

0
=
v
C
=
gh
c
2
(208)
integrating this equation gives
_

0
d


_

r0
GM
r
2
c
2
dr (209)
integrating this equation and using a taylor
expension we get

0
=
_
1
2GM
r
0
c
2
_
1/2
(210)
t = P = 1/
t
0
t

0
=
_
1
2GM
r
0
c
2
_
1/2
(211)
for a weak eld
t
0
t

1
GM
r
0
c
2
(212)
Intervals and Geodesics
G =
8G
c
4
T (213)
proper time

s
c
(214)
proper distance
L =
_
(s)
2
(215)
space-time interval
(s)
2
= [c(t
ba
)]
2
(x
ba
)
2
(y
ba
)
2
(z
ba
)
2
(216)
if (s)
2
< 0 then the interval is spacelike, if
(s)
2
> 0 then the interval is timelike, and if
(s)
2
= 0 then the interval is lightlike or null
dL =
_
(ds)
2
=
dr
_
1 2GM/rc
2
(217)
d
ds
c
= dt
_
1
2GM
rc
2
(218)
Black Holes
The Schwarzschild Metric
(ds)
2
= (cdt
_
1 2GM/rc
2
)
2

_
dr
_
1 2GM/rc
2
_
2
(rd)
2
(r sin d)
2
Schwarzschild Radius
R
s
=
2GM
BH
c
2
(219)
if ds = 0 for light and also d = d = 0 we
get
dr
dt
= c
_
1
2GM
rc
2
_
= c
_
1
R
s
r
_
(220)
angular momentum
L
max
=
GM
2
c
(221)
9
Chapter 18: Close Binary Star Systems
Gravity in a close binary star system
eective graviational potential
= G
_
M
1
s
1
+
M
2
s
2
_

1
2

2
r
2
(222)
where s
1
and s
2
are given by
s
2
1
= r
2
1
+r
2
+ 2r
1
r cos (223)
s
2
2
= r
2
2
+r
2
2r
2
r cos (224)
(225)
and the angular frequency of the orbit ,
comes from keplers third law for the orbital pe-
riod.

2
=
_
2
P
_
2
=
G(M
1
+M
2
)
a
3
(226)
F
x
=
dU
dx
= m
d
dx
(227)
Lagrangian Points
l
1
= a
_
0.500 0.227 log
10
_
M
2
M
1
__
(228)
l
2
= a
_
0.500 + 0.227 log
10
_
M
2
M
1
__
(229)
(230)
Points in space that share the same value of
form an equipotential surface.
Mass transfer rate

M = vA (231)
A bit of geometry shows that
x =

Rd (232)
when d << R. Using Eq 76 for the thermal
velocity of the gas particles results in the esti-
mate

M v
rms
x
2
(233)
or

M d
_
3kT
m
H
(234)
Accretion disk
The total energy(kinetic plus potential) of a
mass m of orbiting gas is given by
E = G
M
1
m
2r
(235)
the disk temperature at radius r, results in
T =
_
GM

M
8R
3
_
1/4 _
R
r
_
3/4
(236)
a more thorough analysis would take into ac-
count the thin turbulant boundery layer that
must be produced when the rapidly orbiting disk
gases encounter the surface of the primary star.
This results in a better estimate of the disk tem-
perature
T =
_
GM

M
8R
3
_
1/4 _
R
r
_
3/4 _
1
_
R/r
_
1/4
(237)
T
disk

_
3Gm

M
8R
3
_
1/4
(238)
Actually, T
disk
is roughly twice the maximum
disk temperature
T
max
= 0.488
_
3GM

M
8R
3
_
1/4
= 0.488T
disk
(239)
the disk luminosity is given by
L
disk
= G
M

M
2R
(240)
the Luminosity due to accretion is given by
L
acc
= 2L
disk
= G
M

M
R
(241)
The radial extent of an accretion disk
Assuming that the motion of the mass at the
inner Lagrangian point is due solely to the or-
bital motion of the binary system, the angular
momentum, L, of the mass located there is
10
L = ml
2
1
= ml
2
1
_
G(M
1
+M
2
)
a
3
(242)
When the parcel of mass has settled into a cir-
cular orbit of radius r
cir
around M
1
, its angular
momentum is
L = m
_
GM
1
r
cir
(243)
equating these two expressions for the angular
momentum results in
r
circ
= a
_
l
1
a
_
4
_
1 +
M
2
M
1
_
(244)
= a
_
0.500 0.227 log
10
_
M
2
M
1
__
4
_
1 +
M
2
M
1
_
(245)
(246)
and
R
disk
2r
circ
(247)
A survey of interacting binary systems
the eects of mass transfer
The orbital angular momentum, with eccen-
tricity of e = 0 for a circular orbit is
L =

GMa (248)
where is the reduced mass, some useful in-
sight concerning the eect of the transfer of mass
on the seperation of the two starscam be gained
by taking a time derivative of the expression for
the angular momentum
dL
dt
=
d
dt
_

GMa
_
(249)
0 =

GM
_
d
dt

a +

2

a
da
dt
_
(250)
1
a
da
dt
=
2

d
dt
(251)
the mass lost by one star is gained by the
other and
d
dt
=

M
1
M
(M
2
M
1
) (252)
inserting this into equation 247 gives
1
a
da
dt
= 2

M
1
(M
1
M
2
)
M
1
M
2
(253)
equation 249 describes the consequences of
mass transfer on the separation of the binary
system. The angular frequency of the orbit will
also be aected, as shown by using Keplers third
law. Keplers third law states that a
3/2
so
that
1

d
dt
=
3
2
1
a
da
dt
(254)
The expanding model photosphere has a ra-
dius that initially increases linearly with time
and then approaches a limiting value of
R

=
3

M
eject
8v
(255)
if the luminosity L, of a nova is also assumed
to be constant, then the eective temperature of
the model of the photosphere approaches
T

=
_
L
4
_
1/4
_
8v
3

M
eject
_
1/2
(256)
cyclotron frequency
v
c
=
eB
2m
e
(257)
11