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Syllabus for

Academic year
FAS015 - Stellar physics
Owner: TTFYA
4,0 Credits (ECTS 6)
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Not passed
Level: C

Teaching language: English

Course module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 No Sp
0101 Examination 4,0 c Grading: TH   4,0 c   Contact examiner

In programs



Professor  John Black


For single subject courses within Chalmers programmes the same eligibility requirements apply, as to the programme(s) that the course is part of.

Course specific prerequisites

The course is open to 4th/5th-year students (or students at an equivalent
level) and graduate students with background in physics and mathematics.


The theory of stellar structure and evolution is a mature and comprehensive
physical theory which stands at the very heart of modern astrophysics. The
theory explains the observed properties of stars (sizes, masses, surface
temperatures, pulsations, etc.). It also predicts how these properties and
the composition of stars evolve in time so that the characteristics of entire
populations of stars can be understood. After a brief summary of the
observable properties of stars, the course will present the basic concepts of
stellar atmospheres. Then the physics of stellar interiors will be developed
in detail. The evolution of stars will be examined with reference to
detailed theoretical models. The endpoints of stellar evolution will be
discussed. Additional topics will include star formation, neutrino
astrophysics, and stellar pulsations.


Observable properties of stars. Stellar atmospheres and radiative transfer.
Equations of state. Degenerate matter. Radiative and convective energy
transport. Nuclear reactions. Differential equations of stellar structure
and their boundary conditions. Numerical models. Protostars and star
formation. Stellar evolution. The Main Sequence. Stability and pulsations.
Chemical evolution on the Main Sequence. Post-Main-Sequence evolution.
Binary stars. Stellar rotation. Endpoints of stellar evolution: white
dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and stellar black holes.

Computer codes for constructing stellar models will be available so that
students can perform numerical experiments.


EXAMINER: John Black


C.J. Hansen & S.D. Kawaler, Stellar Interiors: Physical Principles,
Structure, and Evolution (Berlin: Springer-Verlag), 1994. ISBN
3-540-94138-X. (Note: the most recent version is the revised 3rd printing of


Written examination.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.