Introduction to Astrophysical Fluids

By Prof. Supratik Banerjee   |   IIT Kanpur
Learners enrolled: 604
The physics of astrofluids is the subject of active research during past seventy years.Starting from the solar wind and magnetospheric plasmas, the scope of astrophysical fluids expands upto large interstellar clouds. A thorough understanding of astrophysical fluid dydnamics is essential to understand fascinating phenomena like the formation of sunspots, solar flares, accretion disks, stellar winds, explosion of supernovae, the formation of stars etc. This course is structured to offer the students a systematic analytical approach towards various astrophysical concepts along with a research oriented outlook.

Advanced UG and PG (Masters and PhD) students.

PREREQUISITES : Basic knowledge of vector analysis (algebra and calculus), partial differentiation, fluid dynamics and electromagnetism are required. A notion of Hamiltonian mechanics is preferable.
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Physics
Credit Points : 3
Level : Postgraduate
Start Date : 25 Jul 2022
End Date : 14 Oct 2022
Enrollment Ends : 08 Aug 2022
Exam Date : 29 Oct 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: General introduction, phase space, collisionless Boltzmann equation
Week 2: Collisional Boltzmann equation, derivation of moment equations, Oort limit
Week 3: Dynamics and properties of ideal fluids, streamlines and stream function
Week 4: Real fluids, accretion disks, stellar wind
Week 5: Compressible flow, shock waves, Supernova explosion
Week 6: Convective instability, Rayleigh-Benard convection
Week 7: Linear instabilities in two fluid interface, stellar oscillations, Jeans instability
Week 8: Effect of rotation in astrophysical objects
Week 9: Introduction to plasmas , Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
Week 10: Properties of MHD fluids and importance in astrophysics
Week 11: Turbulence in astrophysical fluids
Week 12: Dynamos in astrophysics

Books and references

  1. The Physics of Fluids and Plasmas: An Introduction for Astrophysicists; Arnab Rai Choudhuri
  2. Principles of Astrophysical Fluid Dynamic; Cathie Clarke & Bob Carswell

Instructor bio

Prof. Supratik Banerjee

IIT Kanpur
Dr. Supratik Banerjee is Assistant Professor (grade I) at the department of Physics of IIT Kanpur since February 2018. After completing B. Sc. (Hons. In Physics) from Presidency College, Kolkata and securing 1st class 3rd rank in the University of Calcutta, he joined the prestigious Diplome d’Ingenieur program of Ecole Polytechnique, France. He completed his two Masters (in theoretical physics and in plasma physics) in 2011. In 2014, he completed his thesis from Universite Paris-Sud, France on compressible turbulence in space and astrophysical plasmas and bagged the Best thesis award of his school. Since 2011, he has been engaged in teaching which is already widely accepted and appreciated by the students in France, Germany and India. He has also received DST Inspire faculty research grant for research.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 29 October 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kanpur. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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