nl en

High-energy Astrophysics


Admission Requirements



High-energy processes are ubiquitous in the Universe. X-rays are emitted or absorbed by a broad range of sources ranging from the solar system, stars, the interstellar medium, compact black hole environments, active galactic nuclei to clusters of galaxies and the diffuse gas of the cosmic web. Two topics form the core of this course. The production mechanisms of thermal X-ray emission in a broad range of environments is treated, from collision-dominated plasmas to photo-ionized gas. The second topic is centered on accretion processes onto compact black holes. Accretion disks around supermassive black holes and the X-ray radiation in that environment are the central themes.

Course objectives

The student will gain relevant background information on X-ray radiation mechanisms in the Universe and the basics of accretion processes. This will allow the student to read papers and follow presentations on these processes. The students will also acquire practical analysis with X-ray spectral analysis through the computer course.


See MSc schedules

Mode of instruction

Lectures and an obligatory computer class.

Assessment method

Written exam (70% of final grade) and report on final computer class exercise (30% of final grade).
Finishing the computer class and delivering the report is obligatory to take the written exam.
For a retake exam, the results of the computer class will remain valid. No retake of the computer exercise is possible.



Reading list

Lecture notes and all other course material will appear online at the homepage of the lecturer.


Via uSis.
More information about signing up for your classes at the Faculty of Science can be found here
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.
For Interest only & Contractual enrollment, please see this website.

Contact information:

Lecturer: Prof.dr. J.S. Kaastra
Assistants: Junjie Mao, Igone Urdampilleta Aldama
See also the lecturer’s website