ASTRON 449: Stellar Dynamics, Winter 2017

Syllabus. Regular office hour is Thu 1 PM.

Lecture materials:

Lecture 1 slides: galaxy phenomenology

Slides on results from CDM simulations (including NFW), galaxy formation modeling techniques

Lecture notes on N-body methods, including orbit integration and computational hydrodynamics

Slides on dark matter cusp-core problem

Slides on mass-velocity anisotropy degeneracy

Slides on disk/spiral structure phenomenology

Slides on epicylic theory

Slides on Toomre instability, swing amplification, dynamical friction, galaxy mergers, and AGN

Peter Young’s notes on leapfrog and other symplectic algorithms

An interactive Barnes-Hut tree

Paper on energy-conserving adaptive gravitational softening:

Paper on softening as a smoothing operation:

GADGET-2 (TreePM) code paper (including section 5 on parallelization strategies):

Code paper for the moving-mesh hydro code Arepo:

GIZMO code paper, describing new Godunov-based meshless methods (also contains a useful summary of other hydro algorithms):

Our treatment of the Boltzmann and Jeans equations will closely follow Paul Schechter’s lecture notes, available at

Problem sets:

Problem set 1, due Jan. 17.

Problem set 2, due Jan. 31.

Problem set 3, due Feb. 14.

Problem set 4, due Feb. 23.

Problem set 5, due Mar. 2.


Download here. You have 48 hours to complete the final from the time you start it. Due by end of day on Wednesday, March 8 (send solutions as soon as you are done).