Academic Year 2016/2017 - 1° Year - Curriculum ASTROFISICA
Teaching Staff: Alessandro Carmelo LANZAFAME
Credit Value: 6
Scientific field: FIS/05 - Astronomy and astrophysics
Taught classes: 42 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

This course deals with fundamental aspects of modern Astrophysics and gives the student the possibility of mastering them for the application to research, public outreach, and education in fields of the Science of the Universe. The lectures focus on the theory of stars and planetary systems formation, stellar structure and evolution, and stellar atmospheres. They outline basic concepts and applications that have also wide implications for Galactic Astronomy and Cosmology.


Knowledge and understanding

The main goal of the course is to provide the student with a critical comprehension of stellar and planet formation mechanisms, of stellar structure and evolution, and stellar spectra from first principles. A critical comprehension of the implications in related fields is also part of the course’s objectives.


Applying knowledge and understanding

The course allows the student to acquire skills in identifying the essential elements of astrophysical phenomena, in terms of order of magnitude and necessary approximation level, and in applying the necessary approximations. The student will also be capable of identifying the common theoretical framework amongst different areas and use analogy arguments to apply known solutions to new problems and different astrophysical contexts.


Communication skills

The course gives the student the possibility of acquiring specific competences for a correct and effective communication of astrophysical topics.


Learning skills

The student can acquire adequate cognitive methods for a continuous update of Astrophysical subjects and the capability to access to the specialised literature in Astrophysical and related fields.

Detailed Course Content

STARS ANS PLANETS FORMATION. Gravitational instability. Collapse of a spherical cloud. Contraction towards the main sequence. Characteristics of pre-main sequence stars. Accretion phenomena and formation of planetary systems.

STELLAR STRUCTURE AND EVOLUTION. Equations of stellar structure and their solution. Theorem of homology. Mass dependence of the stellar structure. Mass dependence of stellar evolution. Final states of stellar evolution.

Textbook Information

[1] Kippenhahn R., Weigert A., Weiss A., “Stellar Structure and Evolution”, 2nd edition, Springer-Verlag 2012

[2] T. Padmanabhan, “Theoretical Astrophysics”, Cambridge University Press, 2001

[3] Stahler S.W., Palla F., “The Formation of Stars”, Wiley-VCH, 2005