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Astro Particle Physics 2

Module PH2074

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2022 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2022SS 2021SS 2020SS 2019SS 2017SS 2016SS 2011

Basic Information

PH2074 is a semester module in English or German language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 60 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2074 is Susanne Mertens.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This module builds the connection between cosmology and particle physics. First, basic cosmological observactions, and the standard model of particle phsyics, are introduced. The most important observable properties of our universe are discussed in light if how they depend on the properties of elementary particles, and how the study of particles of astophysical origin can provide information about the universe. Topics discussed are: The cosmic microwave background, primordial nucleosythesis, large scale structures, sources of and detectors for cosmic radiation. The dark matter problem is discussed in detail, including candidates and experiments looking for dark matter.

The lecture is structured as follows:

I.      Neutrino physics

II.     Cosmic radiation

III.   Gravitational waves

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of the module the students are able to:

  • explain how stars create energy, and why we detect fewer solar electron neutrinos than expected.
  • list and explain hypotheses about the nature of cosmic rays: where they come from and how they are accelerated
  • draw qualitatively the gravitational wave signal from 2 colliding black holes
  • understand the relationship between neutrino masses, oscillation, and physics beyond the standard model


PH0014: Nuclear, Particle and Astrophysics 1 and PH0015: Nuclear, Particle and Astrophysics 2. PH2073: Astroparticlephysics 1 is helpful.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

This module consists of a lecture and an exercise course.

The material will be covered in a lecture. Short interactive problems and questions to the students will encourage the students to actively think about the material being covered.

There will be tutorials with conceptional questions and quantitative calcuations. Students should work out all the tutorial problems. It is strongly suggested that the students work on the lecture material before and after each lecture.


Slide presentation, problem sheets.


  • L. Bergstrom, A. Goobar: Cosmology and Particle Astrophysics, Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg, (2004)
  • H.V. Klapdor-Kleingrothaus, K. Zuber: Teilchenastrophysik, Teubnerverlag, Stuttgart, (1997)
  • B.R. Martin, G. Shaw: Particle Physics, John Wiley & Sons, (2017)
  • P. Schneider: Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology, Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg, (2010)
  • C. Grupen: Astroparticle physics, Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg, (2005)

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 25 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and sample calculations.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • How do we know that neutrinos have a mass, and how can one measure their mass?
  • Qualitatively draw the measured energy spectrum of cosmic radiation. Explain where the particles in the different energy regimes come from.
  • Describe the phases of the merging of two black holes, using the gravitational wave signal the event creates.

In the exam no learning aids are permitted.

Participation in the exercise classes is strongly recommended since the exercises prepare for the problems of the exam and rehearse the specific competencies.

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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