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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2008 - 2009

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:

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

Indicative Time Allowances
Lectures 36
Tutorials 6
Independent Learning Time 33

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:¿Observation of stars¿Radiation from Stars.Colour-magnitude diagram¿Equations of stellar structure, equation of state of stellar matter¿Stellar atmospheres (stellar opacity and mechanisms of radiation absorption)¿Solution of stellar structure equations: Numerical methods¿Stellar models¿Comparison Theory-Observation¿Radiative transport of energy: radiation and convection¿The Virial theorem, Time scales, Evolutionary speed with mass¿Nuclear reactions in stars (introduction to nuclear reactions,fusion reactions,¿stellar nuclear reaction cycles)¿Stellar evolution (evolutionary phases for stars of various masses¿pre-main sequence, main sequence, post-mainsequence, late and final stages)¿White Dwarfs, Neutron stars and pulsars.¿Mass transfer and accretion disks in binaries. X-ray binaries.¿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)