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Introduction to theoretical Astro Physics

Module PH2080

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 2017

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 2018SS 2017WS 2010/1

Basic Information

PH2080 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered irregular.

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 40 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2080 in the version of SS 2017 was Hans-Thomas Janka.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


  1. Existence of cosmic structures:   Dimensional estimates on the basis of fundamental physical principles.
  2. Gravitation, celestial mechanics, gravitationally bound systems:   Application to the question of the existence of dark matter and the search of extrasolar planets.
  3. Hydrostatics and stellar structure:  Stellar structure equations, stellar properties, stellar evolution.
  4. Theory of radiative transfer:   Processes, transport equations, applications.
  5. Astrophysical plasmas:   Equations of state, conservation laws.

For each of these theoretical topics and concepts astrophysical examples will be discussed, e.g. stars, binary stars, galaxies, black holes, the early universe.

Learning Outcome

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

  1. Understanding of the existence of cosmic structures of different sizes on different scales.
  2. Knowledge of astrophysical methods for mass determination, of arguments for the existence of dark matter, and of methods for the search for extrasolar planets.
  3. Elementary knowledge of stellar structure and evolution.
  4. Understanding of methods and application of radiation transport phenomena in astrophysics.
  5. Basic knowledge of  the description of thermodynamics and laws of motion of astrophysical plasmas.


At least four semesters of physics study.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

no info


Black board, overhead slides, in exceptions also laptop projection.


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

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

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