The course will start with a review of the basic physics needed to understand the internal structure and evolution of the stars: the basic equation of stellar structure, the thermodynamics of classical and degenerate gases in both the non-relativistic and relativistic regimes, convection, sources of stellar opacity, and nuclear energy generation. This will be followed by a detailed description and analysis of all the main phases of stellar evolution. We will make use of simple models when possible, but we will also discuss the results of sophisticated computer simulations. Topics include the pre-main sequence, main-sequence and giant phases, the structure and formation of white dwarfs, stellar pulsations, and astroseismology.
The goal of the course is to understand the structure and evolution of stars, and their observational properties, from the pre-main-sequence, through the main-sequence, and post-main-sequence phases, how this relates back to fundamental physical processes including the interaction of matter and radiation, thermodynamics and the equation of state of gasses, nucleosynthesis and the formation of elements, and to apply this understanding to a state-of-the-art code for stellar evolution, MESA.
See MSc schedules
Mode of instruction
Written exam (60% of the final grade) and homework assignments (40% of final grade). To access the final exam all homework must be handed in and a minimum average grade of 6.5/10 is required.
This also applies to the retake exam.
- Stellar Structure and Evolution, Authors: Kippenhahn, R, Weigert, A, Weiss, A, Springer Verlag.
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