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PX268 - Stars

  • Module code: PX268
  • Module name: Stars
  • Department: Physics
  • Credit: 7.5

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

The module introduces fundamental astronomical concepts such as how to measure their distances, brightness and colour, and illustrates the extreme variety of stars found in our Galaxy. It is shown how fundamental concepts of physics are used to quantitatively describe the structure and evolution of stars. The module also conveys how observational methods such as imaging and spectroscopy are used to test our understanding of the origin, life, and death of stars.

Principal learning outcomes

At the end of the module, you should be able: to define the position of a star; to describe the techniques used to determine their distance from us; to relate basic quantities such as apparent magnitude, absolute magnitude, flux, luminosity, stellar radius, effective temperature and distance; to explain the main characteristics of stellar spectra along the main sequence; to understand the basic mechanisms of interaction between photons and matter occurring in the atmosphere of a star; to understand the basic physical principles necessary to describe the structure and evolution of stars, and to qualitatively describe the birth, life and death of stars; to be able to describe the processes of nuclear fusion that powers the light of almost all stars; to identify the main features of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.

Timetabled teaching activities

about 18 Lectures

Departmental link

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/physics/teach/syllabi/year2/px268/

Other essential notes

People have been studying stars for as long as anything else in science. Yet the subject is advancing faster now than almost every other branch of physics. With the arrival of space-based instruments, the prospects are that the field will continue to advance and that some of the most exciting discoveries reported in physics during our lifetimes will be in astrophysics. The module deals with the physics of the observation of stars and with the understanding of their behaviour and properties that the observations lead to. The module covers the main classifications of stars by size, age and distance from the earth and the relationships between them. It also looks at what the observations of stars' behaviour tell us about the evolutionary history of galaxies and of the Universe as a whole.

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
7.5 CATS (Module code: PX268-7.5)
B (Examination only) 1 hr exam (Summer) Stars 100%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessed work visiting/exchange students PART YEAR 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

Core

N/A

Optional Core

N/A

Optional
  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc) (F300) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Physics (MPhys) (F303) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys) (F304) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Physics and Business Studies (F3N1) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (MMathPhys) (FG31) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc MMathPhys) (FG33) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (BSc) (G100) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics with Intercalated Year (G101) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) (G103) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics (with Intercalated Year) (G105) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics (MMath) with Study in Europe (G106) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics (BSc MMathStat) (G1G3) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Business Studies (with Intercalated Year) (G1N2) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Business Studies (G1NC) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Master of Mathematics,Operational Research,Statistics and Economics (G300) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc) (GF13) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics (BSc) (GG14) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Economics (GL11) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics and Economics (with Intercalated Year) (GL12) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Mathematics,Operational Research,Statistics and Economics (Y602) - Year 2