First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP9086382, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC2490, Degree course structure A.Y. 2019/20, A.Y. 2019/20
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Degree course track THEORY AND MODELLING [001PD]
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination ADVANCED ASTROPHYSICS
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Physics and Astronomy
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge PAOLA MARIGO FIS/05

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses FIS/05 Astronomy and Astrophysics 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2019 course timetable

Examination board
Examination board not defined

Prerequisites: General astrophysics, fundamentals of radiative processes and stellar evolution
Target skills and knowledge: The aim of the course is to provide students with an overview of selected frontier topics in stellar astrophysics, with particular reference to theoretical investigation methods.
Examination methods: Written and/or oral examination
Assessment criteria: The examination aims at verifying the student's knowledge of the selected topics and his/her ability to reason on them with maturity and critical attitude.
Course unit contents: 1) Stellar Winds. Introduction. Coronal winds: Isothermal case. Generale case. Topology of the solution of the momentum equation. Line-driven winds: Wind dynamics. Radiative acceleration due to one single line. Optically thick case and optically thin case. Multiple line models. Kastor-Abbott-Klein formalism. Application to hot and luminous stars. Dust-driven winds: Momentum equations for the gas and dust components. Drift velocity. Drag force. Dynamical coupling gas-dust. Dust grains: chemical composition and optical properties. The single-scattering limit. Dust grain opacities. Grain cross sections. Planck mean opacities (silicates, graphite, amorphous carbon). Condensation radius and temperature of dust species. Effect of stellar pulsation in the subsonic region. Application to cool giant stars.

2) Variable stars. Overview of history, observations, classification. Introduction to the theory of stellar pulsation, time scales, period-mean density relation, linearization. Adiabatic approximation and LAWE. Non-adiabatic oscillations, stability conditions, quasi-adiabatic approximation. Driving: epsilon and kappa+gamma mechanisms, opacity bump, classical instability strip. RR Lyr and Cepheid variables. Red giant variables. Overview of non-radial oscillations and asteroseismology.

3) Deaths and final fates of massive and very massive stars: electron-capture supernovae, core-collapse supernovae, pair-instability supernovae, neutron star-merger kilonovae. Physics of the explosions and related uncertainties. Successful and failed explosions and related remnants (neutron star, black hole, none). The initial mass- final mass relation. Explosive nucleosynthesis.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: In-class lectures, with use of both classical methodology (lectures at the blackboard) and media (slides, movies, applets).
Additional notes about suggested reading: Slides of the lectures and other material available through the Moodle website of the course on the e-learning platform of the Department of Physics and Astronomy "G. Galilei" ( The list of suggested textbooks is given.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Hansen, Carl J., Kawaler, Steven D, Trimble, Virginia, Stellar Interiors. --: Springer, 2004. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Lamers, J. G. L. M.; Cassinelli, Joseph P., Introduction to Stellar Winds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Aerts, Conny; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jorgen; Kurtz, Donald W., Asteroseismology. Dordrecht: Springer, 2010. Cerca nel catalogo