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Astrophysics Research Centre

School of Mathematics and Physics

STFC Introductory Summer School

Atomic processes and spectral modelling in astrophysics
31st August 2015 – 4th September 2015
Astrophysics Research Centre, School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen’s University Belfast

School objectives

Spectroscopy makes an essential contribution to the study of a myriad of astronomical sources, ranging from the Sun to the most distant quasars. Modelling of the emission and/or absorption line spectra of such sources provides a wealth of information on their fundamental properties, including (but not limited to) velocity, temperature, particle density and chemical composition.

Vital requirements for the reliable modelling of astronomical spectra include:

  • knowledge of the atomic processes which are important in generating the spectrum,
  • accurate atomic data for these processes, either measured in the laboratory or calculated using atomic structure packages,
  • sophisticated spectral modelling codes, which include all relevant atomic processes and produce a realistic spectral model which may be confidently compared with observations.

It is essential that researchers are trained in all of the above, so that they may be in a position to fully exploit the current and future spectroscopic instrumentation that is available to support their research programmes. Researchers also need to understand spectral modelling codes such as CHIANTI and CLOUDY, so that they use these appropriately and not as simple ‘black boxes’.

The STFC Introductory Summer School is designed to play a vital role in the early training of both PhD students and postdoctoral researchers in astrophysics by providing:

  • an introduction to the atomic processes of importance in different types of astronomical sources;
  • how data for these processes are measured or (more often) calculated;
  • an introduction to the various computer codes available for modelling astronomical spectra;
  • what information spectral modelling codes can provide on astronomical sources, ranging from the Sun to quasars, and what are their limitations;
  • an introduction to current and future spectroscopic facilities available to UK astrophysicists;
  • advice on career development and public engagement;
  • allowing PhD students and postdoctoral participants to interact scientifically with each other, and also with lecturers who are leaders in their research field.


public/stfc_atomic_processes/start.txt · Last modified: 2015/02/27 12:41 by fkeenan

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