MPhys lecture notes

For all visitors:

The notes here were taken during an MPhys Physics and Astrophysics course at Manchester University between 2002 and 2006. They are placed here in the hope that they prove useful to other people, mainly those also studying Physics at Manchester. While the typing was done to me, the content belongs to the lecturers in the courses. They should not be mass-duplicated.

The files are all in PDF format. If you’re on a PC you’ll need Adobe Acrobat to access them. Mac OS X has built-in PDF support, so nothing new needed there. Each PDF file tends to be upwards of 2MB each, so they’ll take a while for you to download if you’re on a slow connection.

I apologise for the size of these PDF’s; I used Microsoft Word and MathType to write the notes, and they don’t convert to small PDFs (I think that the PDF ends up with all of the equations as images).

For fellow students:

These notes are not complete, and they are not 100% accurate. There are typing mistakes in both words and equations, and diagrams may be incomplete or missing completely. At the very least, you should use these notes in addition to your own. Preferably, use them in conjunction with your own notes and one of the recommended books for the course.

These notes are intended only to unofficially support the lecture courses, not replace them. You should not miss lectures thinking you can just get the notes here afterwards. I am not that reliable at uploading the notes, plus there are likely to be the aforementioned errors. They are not an official resource, and they are not endorsed – or generally even known of – by the course lecturers.

A final warning: these PDFs are big! (i.e. a couple of MB+ each.) They will take a while for you to download, unless you’re on an über-fast connection. So be patient if you do decide to download them!

1st Year, 2002/3

The first year course has changed considerably since I took it. It probably now bears only a passing resemblance to the notes here.

Semester 1

Semester 2

2nd Year, 2003/4

Semester 3

My laptop broke down in the middle of this semester, and then Time took over a month to admit that they’d lost it in the post. As a result, most of my notes from this semester are hand-written, and I doubt I’ll ever have the time / be in the mood to finish typing them up now. Sorry!

Semester 4

Semester 6, 2005

PC 3322 – Nuclear Physics

Lecturer: Dr. J. Billowes

PC 3352 – Solid State Physics

Lecturer: P. Mitchell

PC 3392 – Cosmology

Lecturer: P. Wilkinson

PC 3692 – Stars and Stellar Evolution

Lecturer: A. Zijlstra

Semester 5, 2004

PC 3101 – Quantum Mechanics

PC 3121 – Particle Physics

PC 3151 – Bose and Fermi Gases

PC 3491 – Interstellar Physics

Semester 7, 2005

PC 4521 – Frontiers of Particle Physics 1

Section 1: Dr. F. Loebinger

Section 2: BaBar, lecturer Nick Barlow

Section 3: Tevatron / LHC

PC 4691 – Frontiers of Astrophysics

(Various lecturers)

Section 1. Pulsars

Section 2. Interstellar Dust

Rest of notes / images on lecture handout.

Section 3. The Solar Corona

Second lecture was done off the lecture handout.

Section 4: The CMB

Section 5: Gravitational Lenses

PC 4771 – Gravitation

Lecturer: Dr R A Battye

Semester 8, 2006

PC 4602 – Relativistic Quantum Mechanics

Lecturer: Dr. G. Shaw

… After lecture 10, I stopped attending the course due to the times of the lectures. I was only observing the course; I wasn’t taking it.

PC 4722 – Frontiers of Particle Physics II

Section 1: Steve Snow – Particle Detectors

Section 2: Brian Cox – Neutrinos

Section 3: Un-ki Yang – Deep Inelastic Scattering

Section 4: Dr. Stefan Soldner-Rembold – CP Violation

(Note that slides which weren’t shown in the lectures can be ignored.)

PC 4772 – The Early Universe

Lecturer: Dr. Battye

PC 4902 – Quantum Many-Body Physics

Lecturers: Dr. Gernoth & Dr. Godfrey

The rest of this course was done from handouts. Examples sheets are available from the lecturer’s website.

PC 4992 – Galactic Dynamics

Lecturer: Dr. Gray

Most of this course is done from handouts; I will only be putting content up here which isn’t covered in the handouts.

May 2006 – MPhys Project – Classification of Gravitational Microlensing Light Curves

“Classification of Gravitational Microlensing Light Curves” was an MPhys Project done jointly with Matthew Dennison between February 2005 and May 2006.

Abstract: Several methods of detecting microlensing events are compared, including the method used by the OGLE-II collaboration and a Least Squares Fitting technique, using a large dataset of light curves and Monte Carlo techniques. We find that a modified version of the OGLE method is most efficient at detecting microlensing events, with the Least Squares Fitting method showing promise for the future. Optical depths between (4.3±1.0) x 10-6 and (7.2±1.3) x 10-6 are found from 10 microlensing events, dependant on the search technique used. We also trial the normalization of periodic stars with the aim of detecting microlensing events on variable stars, with mixed success.

  • MPhys Project Report:
    • Part 1 (2.3MB PDF)
    • (Part 2 contains details of the microlenses found, and is unavailable. It only has relevance to the dataset used to trial the program, anyway.)
    • Part 3 (2.7MB PDF)
  • Program Code

January 2006 – MPhys Project – The Stellar Computer

“The Stellar Computer” is a small computer program that models the physics within a star. It was done as an MPhys Project jointly with Matthew Dennison between September 2005 and January 2006.

Abstract: A computer program has been constructed that calculates the physical properties within a star, utilizing four differential equations to describe the relations between the mass, radius, temperature, pressure and luminosity, as well as three material functions to provide the density, opacity and energy generated at concentric shells of the star. Numerical calculations are done using the 4th order Runge-Kutta method with 5th order error checking, and are initiated from both the surface and core of the star. Results are given for stars with masses of 0.5 and 1 solar masses, along with recommendations for further improvements of this program.

PC 4591 / PHYS 40591 – Radio Astronomy

Below are notes from the PC 4591 / PHYS 40591 Radio Astronomy course at Manchester University in 2006. The lectures were given by Ian Browne. Note that they are in PDF format, and total 708KB. The source code for the document is also provided; this is in the form of a LaTeX file, with images in various formats (inconsistantly in: OmniGraffle, PDF, PNG, SVG).

Also available is my essay for the course, entitled Measuring the polarization of the CMB.

Equation Wall

Last updated: 30 April 2006

Below are the files that make up my “equation wall”. Note that they are far from being complete – they contain none of the fourth-year material, are a bit spotty on 3rd year material, and may be missing some equations from first and second year. They also might contain errors.

Files are available in both PDF and Word Document format. Please read the second and third paragraphs above for information on how to access/edit the files.