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Stellar Structure and Evolution

Course 2013-2014


The course will start with a review of the basic physics needed to understand the internal structure and evolution of the stars: 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, mass loss, the structure and formation of white dwarfs, supernova explosions, synthesis of the elements and, time permitting, binary evolution.

This course is obligatory for all Master Astronomy students.

Programme form



Recommended: Introduction to the theory of stellar structure and evolution by Dina Prialnik, 2nd edition.


Master Schedule 2013-2014


Written exam


More information

Lecturer: Prof. dr. A.G.G.M. (Xander) Tielens
Assistant: Maria Drozdovskaya

See the course website