36 NQF credits at HEQSF level 7

General outline: This course introduces fundamental concepts such as radiative transfer and opacity to explain the observed spectroscopic and photometric signatures of stars. Students will interpret the observed intrinsic properties of stars through a theoretical understanding of the energy production inside stars and the propagation of the electromagnetic radiation from the stellar core through its interior to the stellar surface, from where the radiation escapes unhindered. The life cycle of stars is considered in great detail, from the collapse of an interstellar gas cloud to the end products of stellar evolution: white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes. This course includes an observational component in which the students use the modern teaching observatory on campus to derive fundamental properties of stars and stellar systems.

Course co-ordinator [2018]: Dr Retha Pretorius, Room 5.38 in the RW James Building. 

Course lecturer [2018]: Dr Retha Pretorius

Entrance requirements: AST2002H and AST2003H (or AST2002S), PHY2004W (or PHY2014F and PHY2015S), MAM2000W (or MAM2004H and MAM2047H)

Lectures: Five lectures per week, Monday to Friday, 2nd period. Room: RW James 5.40.

Course Textbook: Introduction to Modern Astrophysics (Carroll and Ostlie)

Find the book at Amazon (UK)

Tutorials and Practicals: One practical or tutorial per week, Wednesday, 14h00 - 16h30

DP requirement: Satisfactory attendance at lectures and tutorials; class record of at least 35%.

Assessment: Class record 50% (this includes two class tests, tutorials and practicals); one 2-hour final examination 50%; sub-minimum requirement of 40% for final examination.

[Last updated: 17 December 2017]