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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2005 - 2006

Module Title Stellar Physics
Module Code PS311
School School of Physical Sciences

Online Module Resources

Level 3 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Module Aims
Module Aims: To treat the physics of the stellar interior and the underlying fundamental processes and parameters. To introduce the topics of star formation and stellar atmosphere physics. To introduce different models developed for the explanation of the stability, dynamics and evolution of the stars.

Learning Outcomes
Learning Outcomes: 7Establishment of a framework within which the students can structure their knowledge of astronomy and astrophysics. 7Confidence in the basic astrophysical processes. 7Acquisition of a basic understanding of star formation and stellar atmosphere physics. 7Acquisition of a basic understanding of stellar evolution. 7Acquisition of a basic understanding of stellar nucleosynthesis.

Indicative Time Allowances
Independent Learning Time 75

Total 75
Assume that a 5 credit module load represents approximately 75 hours' work, which includes all teaching, in-course assignments, laboratory work or other specialised training and an estimated private learning time associated with the module.

Indicative Syllabus
Indicative Syllabus: ·Hydrostatic equilibrium and conservation of momentum in stars. ·The virial theorem. ·Thermodynamic relations and conservation of energy in stars. ·Basic aspects of stellar atmospheres and radiative transfer. Transport of energy by radiation and conduction. Instabilities. ·Transport of energy by convection. ·Chemical composition. ·Differential equations of stellar evolution. ·Hydrostatic models without thermal equilibrium. ·Properties of stellar matter: ideal gas with radiation, ionization, degenerate electron gas, equation of state of stellar matter. Opacity. ·Nuclear energy production. Hydrogen burning, Helium burning, Carbon burning. Neutrinos. ·Formation of stars. The Jeans criterion. Protostars. ·The Pre-Main Sequence evolution and the Hayashi line. ·Evolution on the Main Sequence. ·Post-Main-Sequence evolution: massive stars, low-mass stars. Later phases. Nuclear cycles. Final explosions and collapse. ·Compact objects as end-product of stellar evolution: white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes. ·Pulsating stars: adiabatic and non-adiabatic spherical pulsations. ·Non-radial stellar oscillations. ·Evolution of rotating stars. ·Pulsars, binary stars and accretion. ·Supernovae and supernova remnants.
Continuous Assessment30% Examination Weight70%
Indicative Reading List
Indicative Reading List: 7Rudolf Kippenhahn and Alfred Weigert: Stellar Structure and Evolution, Springer-Verlag 1994, ISBN: 0-387-58013-1. 7Bradley W. Carroll and Dale A. Ostlie, Modern Astrophysics, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company 1996, ISBN: 0-201-54730-9. 7Carl J. Hansen and Steven D. Kawaler: Stellar Interiors: Physical Principles, Structure, and Evolution, Springer-Verlag 1999, ISBN: 0-387-94138-X.
Programme or List of Programmes
APBSc in Applied Physics
BSSAStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
BSSAOStudy Abroad (DCU Business School)
ECSAStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
ECSAOStudy Abroad (Engineering & Computing)
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
PFBSc in Physics with French
PGBSc in Physics with German
PHABSc in Physics with Astronomy
SHSAStudy Abroad (Science & Health)
SHSAOStudy Abroad (Science & Health)