91187 - Fundamentals of Astrophysics

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to obtain a general understanding of physical properties of stars and galaxies. At the end of the lectures the student will know the equations that regulate the internal structure of the stars, the sources of energy production, the structure of stellar atmosphere and the formation theory of the spectral lines. The student will acquire a general knowledge of morphological, structural and dynamical properties of stellar systems (stellar clusters, galaxies, ...). Hence, he/she will acquire the necessary bases to understand the structural and evolutionary properties of stars and galaxies.

Course contents

The course will cover:

  1. Astronomical data & tools
  2. Celestial Mechanics & the solar system
  3. Radiative Processes
  4. Classification of stars & Stellar atmospheres
  5. Stellar Interiors
  6. Stellar Evolution
  7. Fate of Massive Stars & Stellar remnants
  8. The interstellar medium
  9. Star formation
  10. Galaxies & Galaxy Clusters
  11. Cosmology & Large Scale Structure


"An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics", Carroll & Ostlie, 2nd ed. 2014, Person Education Limite;

"Fundamentals of astrophysics”, Stan Owocki, 1st ed. 2021, Cambridge University Press.

Lecture notes.

Teaching methods

Lectures that make use of both slides and blackboard for proofs, examples and exercises.

Assessment methods

Oral exam in which the student will be asked to answer three questions about three different topics among those presented during classes. The oral exam is aimed at verifying the level of knowledge of the topics covered in class and the ability of the student to link them coherently.

Teaching tools

Blackboard and projector.

Office hours

See the website of Federico Marinacci