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2005/06 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHYS2150 Stellar Structure and Evolution

10 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr M G Hoare
Email: m.g.hoare@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2005/06

Pre-requisites

PHYS1170 (The Physics of Stars and Planets) is recommended but not essential.

This module is approved as an Elective

Objectives

By the end of this module students will be able to:
- explain the physical principles and derive the equations governing the structure of stars;
- describe the solutions and compare them with the observed properties of stars;
- explain the physical changes that take place as stars evolve;
- discuss and explain the end points in the lives of stars of different initial masses;
- present observational tests of stellar evolution theory.

Skills outcomes
The ability to solve physical problems using mathematics and preparation and optional giving of a presentation.The ability to solve physical problems using mathematics and preparation and optional giving of a presentation.


Syllabus

Observational context:
Colour magnitude diagrams, HR diagrams, stellar properties.
Physics of stellar structure:
Hydrostatic equilibrium, equation of state. Radiative energy transport and radiative transfer. Convective energy transport and the criteria for convective instability. Opacity sources:, bound-bound, bound-free, free-free and electron scattering. Energy generation, nuclear reactions including the proton-proton chain, CNO cycle and triple-alpha process.
The structure of stars:
Solving the equations of stellar structure, structure of low and high mass main sequence stars. Helioseismology and solar neutrinos.
The evolution of low mass stars:
Structure of red giants, physics of the degenerate core, helium flash. Horizontal branch and asymptotic giant branch. Thermal pulsing and planetary nebulae ejection. White dwarfs.
The evolution of massive stars:
Supergiant and Wolf-Rayet stars and the role of mass loss. Type II supernovae, neutron stars and black holes.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Lectures: 22 x 1 hour;


Tutorials: 4 x 1 hour.

Private study

Problem sheets: 4 hours;
Reading: 70 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

8 problem sheets over 11 weeks.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

1 x 2 hour examination at the end of the semester: 85%;
Weekly assignment marks: 15%.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 19/04/2005

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