PHYC30019 Astrophysics

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2017:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.Show/hide details
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Feb-2017 to 28-May-2017
Assessment Period End 23-Jun-2017
Last date to Self-Enrol 10-Mar-2017
Census Date 31-Mar-2017
Last date to Withdraw without fail 05-May-2017

Timetable can be viewed here.
For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 to 4 hours per week, 36 in total, lectures and problem-solving classes
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment of 170 hours



One of

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Or one of

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And Mathematics

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Semester 1, Semester 2

And at least one of

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Semester 1, Semester 2
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Prof Rachel Webster


Email: PHYC30019@physics.unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject provides an introduction to astrophysics discussing the basic structure of stars, our galaxy, and the universe and introducing the most recent research questions.

Topics covered include:

  • structure and evolution of stars, degenerate stars, black holes, the structure of the Milky Way and other cosmic objects, emission processes in astrophysics, high energy astrophysics, relativistic cosmology and cosmological models
Learning Outcomes:

To challenge students to expand their knowledge of fundamental astrophysical principles and develop their capacity to:

  • explain the structure and evolution of stars, the Milky Way and other cosmic objects and cosmological models;
  • explain the physics underlying emission processes in astrophysics, high energy astrophysics and cosmology, and
  • demonstrate an understanding of emission processes, degenerate stars, black holes, accretion processes and relativistic cosmology;
  • solve problems relevant to these topics.
  • 3 x 1500 word equivalent written assignments, written in groups of 2-3; due in Weeks 4, 8 and 11 (each assignment will be the outcome of 4 x1-hour problem workshops in each of these weeks)(30%)
  • 3 hour examination; held in examination period (70%)
  • Attendance of at least 9 of the problem workshops held in Weeks 4, 8 and 11 (hurdle requirement)
Prescribed Texts:

Dan Maoz, Astrophysics in a Nutshell, Princeton University Press, 2007

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

A student who completes this subject should be able to:

  • analyse how to solve a problem by applying simple fundamental laws to more complicated situations;
  • apply abstract concepts to real-world situations;
  • solve relatively complicated problems using approximations;
  • participate as an effective member of a group in tutorial discussions;
  • manage time effectively in order to be prepared for tutorial classes, undertake written assignments and the examination, and prepare and give a group presentation.

This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Physics
Physics (specialisation of Physics major)
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.

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