Instructors: Wenda Cao (email), Rebecca Centeno (email), Steven R. Cranmer (email),
Valentin Martinez Pillet (email), Han Uitenbroek (email)
Cranmer's Office:   Duane Physics D-111 (campus), SPSC N-218 (research park), Phone: 303-735-1265
Course Times:     Spring 2016, Tuesdays/Thursdays, 2:00-3:15 pm MT
Location: Duane Physics, Room G-328 (and webcast via WebEx)
Office Hours: By appointment
Syllabus: See the most up-to-date PDF version, or also see the one-page course flyer.


Summary

This web-enabled course is the third offering of the George Ellery Hale Collaborative Graduate Education (COLLAGE) Program, a joint effort between CU Boulder, the National Solar Observatory (NSO), New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), University of Hawaii (UH), New Mexico State University (NMSU), Montana State University (MSU), and the High Altitude Observatory (HAO).

In this course we will cover the basics of spectropolarimetric instrumentation and measurement techniques, diagnostics of the plasma properties and magnetic field of the solar atmosphere, occulting coronagraphs, and emission-line spectroscopy of the solar corona. The entire course will be web-cast to participating institutions (with additional instructors lined up to facilitate local discussion). Some material will be pre-recorded for earlier viewing, with the "flipped classroom" model being used for in-class discussion.

At CU Boulder, this course is an elective for APS graduate students. A recommended pre-requisite or co-requisite is Observations, Data Analysis, and Statistics (ASTR-5550).

Course Material

Main lecture material is linked here for:

This page has links to potentially useful supplementary resources, including review papers, lecture notes from other courses, and example final project topics.

Lectures

Below is a detailed schedule that will list the material to be covered in each class session, links to electronic copies of any handouts and problem sets, and various course deadlines. We will do our best to work around the (slightly different) semester schedules of all participating universities.

  1. Tues., January 12: Introduction and overview. Begin discussing background of off-limb coronal observations (Cranmer lecture 01).

  2. Thurs., January 14: Discuss definitions of important concepts in radiative transfer (Cranmer lectures 02,03).

  3. Tues., January 19: Postponed: definitions of important concepts in radiative transfer (Cranmer).

  4. Thurs., January 21: Diffraction theory and coronagraph design (Cranmer lectures 04,05).

  5. Tues., January 26: Visible continuum emission: K and F corona diagnostics (Cranmer lecture 06).

  6. Thurs., January 28: Visible continuum emission: K and F corona diagnostics (Cranmer lecture 07).

  7. Tues., February 2: Postponed: Emission-line spectroscopy: collisional and scattering lines (Cranmer).
    • Homework 1 due.
    • Homework 2 assigned, due Thurs., February 18.

  8. Thurs., February 4: Emission-line spectroscopy: basic definitions and collisional lines (Cranmer lectures 08, 09).

  9. Tues., February 9: Emission-line spectroscopy: scattering lines. Bridging remote-sensing and in-situ diagnostics (Cranmer lecture 10).

  10. Thurs., February 11: Basic concepts in radiative transfer, for applied spectropolarimetry (Uitenbroek).

  11. Tues., February 16: Transfer of polarized radiation (Uitenbroek).

  12. Thurs., February 18: Transfer of polarized radiation (Uitenbroek).
    • Homework 2 due.
    • Homework 3 assigned, due Tues., March 8.

  13. Tues., February 23: Spectral lines in atoms, ions, and molecules (Uitenbroek).

  14. Thurs., February 25: Spectral lines in atoms, ions, and molecules (Uitenbroek).

  15. Tues., March 1: Spectropolarimetric diagnostic techniques: remote-sensing and interpretation (Centeno).

  16. Thurs., March 3: Spectropolarimetric diagnostic techniques: simple diagnostic and inversion methods (Centeno).
    • Submit topics/plans for final project.

  17. Tues., March 8: Spectropolarimetric diagnostic techniques: inversion codes, merit functions, and model fitting (Centeno).
    • Homework 3 due.
    • Homework 4 (gzipped tar file) assigned, due Thurs., March 31.

  18. Thurs., March 10: Instruments and observation techniques: optics and telescopes (Cao).

  19. Tues., March 15: Instruments and observation techniques: optics and telescopes (Cao).

  20. Thurs., March 17: Instruments and observation techniques: detectors (Cao).

        [March 21-25: CU Spring Break, no classes.]

  21. Tues., March 29: Instruments and observation techniques: imaging instruments (Cao).

  22. Thurs., March 31: Instruments and observation techniques: grating spectrographs (Cao).
    • Homework 4 due.

  23. Tues., April 5: Instruments and observation techniques: turbulent atmosphere and adaptive optics (Cao).

  24. Thurs., April 7: Instruments and observation techniques: turbulent atmosphere and adaptive optics (Cao).

  25. Tues., April 12: TBD.

  26. Thurs., April 14: Instruments and observation techniques: astrophysical spectropolarimetry (Pillet).

  27. Tues., April 19: TBD.

  28. Thurs., April 21: TBD.
    • Final project (written component) due; please submit via email.

  29. Tues., April 26: Instruments and observation techniques: astrophysical spectropolarimetry (Pillet).

  30. Thurs., April 28: Instruments and observation techniques: modern telescopes and spectropolarimeters (Pillet). Course wrap-up.