Astrophysics Primer

Period of duration of course
Course info
Number of course hours
Number of hours of lecturers of reference
Number of hours of supplementary teaching

Type of exam

Written exam


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No pre-requisites required. Mainly designed for the Ordinary Students of the third year, but also open to students of the fourth and fifth year.


The Course provides a broad-spectrum introduction on the fundamental themes of astrophysics and modern cosmology, which can potentially be preparatory to more specific courses of the master's degree or represent the basic background of every physicist on these subjects. The Course will start from the discussion of the physical aspects of star formation and planets and will continue by deepening the fundamental points of stellar structure and evolution. The problems related to compact objects such as neutron stars and black holes and their role in the acceleration of relativistic particles and the production of high energy radiation will then be addressed. This will be followed by a general discussion of the properties of galaxies and the detailed development of a theoretical approach, based on kinetic theory, to their structural, evolutionary and stability properties.

Educational aims

Provide a basic, sufficiently general but physically motivated picture of the main (astro)physical processes that regulate the formation, properties and evolution of stars, planets and galaxies.

Bibliographical references

  •       Carroll, B. W. & Ostlie, D. A. Modern Astrophysics
  •       Draine, B. T. Physics of the ISM and IGM 
  •       Binney, J. & Tremaine, S. Galactic Dynamics 
  •       Scharf, C. A. Extrasolar Planets and Astrobiology