The calculation of the structure of white dwarf and neutron stars is a suitable topic for an undergraduate thesis or an advanced special topics or independent study course. The subject is rich in many different areas of physics, ranging from thermodynamics to quantum statistics to nuclear physics to special and general relativity. The computations for solving the coupled structure differential equations (both Newtonian and general relativistic) can be done using a symbolic computational package. In doing so, students will develop computational skills and learn how to deal with units. Along the way they also will learn some of the physics of equations of state and of degenerate stars.
American Journal of Physics
- Pub Date:
- July 2004
- Neutron stars;
- Faint blue stars white dwarfs degenerate stars nuclei of planetary nebulae;
- Thermodynamic functions and equations of state