Celestial mechanics is a special field of Theoretical Mechanics which concerns with the calculation of the trajectories of cosmic bodies (particles, granules, planetary rings, planetesimals, satellites (natural, artificial), planets, stars, star clusters, galaxies) in space under the influence of different forces - essentially (mutual) gravity!


  •  repetition: theoretical mechanics/principle mechanics
  •  repetition: coordinates, moving - & accelerating frames, coordinate transformations
  • gravitational fields, Poisson- & Laplace Eqs.; Greens formalism (Sketch of general relativity, if time is left)
  •  the two-body problem: cone-section solutions, elliptic -, parabolic -, and hyperbolic orbits; integrals of motion
  • perturbation theory: Gauß- and Laplace formalisms (and corresponding Eqs.)
  •  the three-body problem:

      -  the restricted three-body problem/Jacobi-integral (Jacobian)/the "zoo" of orbits!

      -  the elliptic three-body problem/Jacobian <=> oscillating orbits

      -  the Hills-problem ==> reduced Jacobian

  •  non-conservative perturbation forces: radiation pressure, plasma-drag
  •  space science examples <=> own contributions ==> the Cassini-mission @ Saturn


This course will give an overview about the first astrophysical sources that formed after the Big Bang and their effects on their environment. Addressed topics include (1) cosmological structure formation, (2) primordial star formation and feedback processes, (3) galaxies at cosmic dawn, (4) formation of the first quasars, and (5) the epoch of reionization. In the seminar, current topics in this active research field will be discussed, based on recently published scientific articles.