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Essentials of Experimental Physics 4

Module PH8115

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 2020WS 2015/6

Basic Information

PH8115 is a semester module in English language at Bachelor’s level which is offered in summer semester.

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

  • Service Modules for Students of other Disciplines

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

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
120 h  h 4 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH8115 is Sherry Suyu.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This course is an introduction to astrophysics.  Students will get to use their knowledge of physics and mathematics to understand and appreciate many fascinating astronomical phenomena. The course will cover the basic tools of astronomy (telescopes), the nature of stars, the solar system, galaxies and the Universe.

Learning Outcome

This course supplements the German course of Experimentalphysik 4, by focusing on the topic of astrophysics that is not covered in the German course and thus offering students the opportunity to learn about astrophysics.


After successful completion of this module, the student is able to

  • measure distances to celestial objects
  • explain the life of stars
  • measure masses and properties of galaxies
  • probe the Universe in various ways


No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the bachelor’s program in Physics.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 Experimental Physics 4 in English Suyu, S. Tue, 14:00–16:00, PH HS1
UE 2 Exercise to Experimental Physics 4 in English
Responsible/Coordination: Suyu, S.
dates in groups

Learning and Teaching Methods

In classroom lectures the teaching and learning content is presented and explained in a didactical, structured, and comprehensive form. This includes basic knowledge in astronomy and astrophysics, on stars, galaxies and cosmology. Crucial facts are conveyed by involving the students in discussions to develop their intellectual power and to stimulate their analytic thinking on physics problems. Regular attendance of the lectures is therefore highly recommended.

The presentation of the learning content is enhanced by exercises in tutorial sessions. These exercises are intended to deepen the students' understanding and to help their learning of the course material.

The exercises as well as regular self-study of personal notes from the lectures and of textbooks are an important part of the learning process by the students. Such post-processing and practising of the teaching content is indispensable to achieve the intended learning results that the students develop the ability of explaining and applying the learned knowledge independently.


blackboard, discussions, PowerPoint presentation, post-lecture PDFs, videos, textbook, complementary literature


“An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics”, 2nd Edition, by Bradley W. Carroll & Dale A. Ostlie

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:

  • Determine the distance to a star given its parallax
  • Estimate the mass of a galaxy given its measured properties

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

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