Stellar Explosions

Module PH2078

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.

Basic Information

PH2078 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

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

  • General catalogue of special courses
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics

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 40 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2078 is Hans-Thomas Janka.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


  • Observations and Phenomenology of stellar explosions
  • Supernova types
  • Basics of stellar evolution
  • Introduction to astrophysical fluid dynamics
  • Neutrino and radiation transport
  • Physics of stellar collapse and explosion
  • Cosmic gamma-ray bursts
  • Explosive nucleosynthesis

Learning Outcome

After successful participation in the module the student has attained the following abilities:

  1. Knowledge of the theoretical and observational classification of supernovae.
  2. Understanding of the basics of stellar structure and evolution towards the final stages.
  3. Derivation of scaling relations from differential equations.
  4. Basic knowledge of the fundamental physics that plays a role in stellar explosions.
  5. Overview of the phases and physical processes in supernova explosions.
  6. Understanding of the important role of supernovae in astrophysics, nuclear physics, neutrino physics, and gravitational physics.


Theoretical Astrophysics (introductory course) is advantageous but not mandatory.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 Explodierende Sterne Janka, H. Müller, E. Freitag, 14:00–16:00

Learning and Teaching Methods

no info


Black board, overhead slides, in exceptions also projections from laptop.


See Literature above, which is partially in English.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In an oral exam the learning outcome is tested using comprehension questions and sample problems.

In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as a written test. In this case the time duration is 60 minutes.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam at the end of the semester.

Condensed Matter

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Nuclei, Particles, Astrophysics

A journey of discovery to understanding our world at the subatomic scale, from the nuclei inside atoms down to the most elementary building blocks of matter. Are you ready for the adventure?


Biological systems, from proteins to living cells and organisms, obey physical principles. Our research groups in biophysics shape one of Germany's largest scientific clusters in this area.