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Mathematical Models
Astronomers construct
mathematical models
of the interior of a star using the information
pouring from the surfaces of stars (especially the Sun) and their knowledge of how gases behave
under different conditions. The
mathematical models
are a set of equations that describe how
things work layer by layer in a star. Fortunately, the interior of stars is completely gaseous all the
way to the center, so the equations are relatively simple (whew!). The physics of gases can be
described with just three parameters:
1.
Temperature
a measure of the random motion energy (the
average
kinetic energy) of
the gas particles. The higher the temperature, the more random kinetic energy is present.
2.
Pressure
the amount of force/area. Hot gas expands to create pressure on its
surroundings. For example, the gas inside a hot air balloon pushes out on the material of
the balloon enclosing the gas.
3.
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.
 Fall '10
 EmilyHoward
 Astronomy

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