White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars and Black Holes

Module PH2129

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

PH2129 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 PH2129 is Ewald Müller.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


formation and properties of white dwarfs;
equation of state of an ideal Fermi gas;
polytropic gas spheres; Chandrasekhar mass;
fundamentals of General Relativity;
formation and properties of neutron stars;
equation of state of matter at high densities;
non-rotating black holes: the Schwarzschild solution;
rotating black holes: the Kerr solution;
test particle motion in the gravitational field of a black hole;
thermodynamics of black holes and Hawking radiation

Learning Outcome

After successful participation in this module the student is able to:

1. to comprehend and explain the basic equations describing compact astrophysical objects;

2. to explain the formation of compact astrophysical objects and to understand their basic structural and microscopic properties;

3. to comprehend the importance of relativistic effects for a proper describtion of compact astrophysical objects

4. to describe the properties distinguishing black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs



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Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 Weiße Zwerge, Neutronensterne und Schwarze Löcher Müller, E. einzelne oder verschobene Termine

Learning and Teaching Methods

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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.

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