Astrophysics - PHYS3116

Faculty: Faculty of Science

School: School of Physics

Course Outline: School of Physics

Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 4

Enrolment Requirements:

Prerequisite: (MATH2069 or MATH2011 or MATH2111) and (PHYS2111 or PHYS2110). Exclusions: PHYS2160, PHYS3160

Excluded: PHYS2160

CSS Contribution Charge: 2 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

View course information for previous years.


The stars form the basic building blocks of our Galaxy, and make up one of the fundamental scales on which structure is found in the Universe. This course provides an introduction to the physics of stars, galaxies and the universe. The aim is to give students an introduction to our state of knowledge about these fundamental astronomical objects, what they contain, their physical parameters, how they function and how they evolve. The basic mathematical formalism governing the physics of is presented, though the detailed solution of the equations is not attempted. Topics to be covered include: Galaxies, their composition. The distance scale. Large-scale structure of the universe. Galaxy evolution. Stellar radiation, spectra classification. Hertzsprung Russell diagrams, determination of stellar masses and radii. Equations of stellar structure. Energy sources in star: nuclear reaction cycles, energy transport, equations of state, degeneracy, opacity. Properties of main sequence stars: stellar evolution, structure of red giants and white dwarfs. The solar atmosphere.
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