- Module code: PX443
- Module name: Planets, Exoplanets and Life
- Department: Physics
- Credit: 15
Module content and teaching
To explore the impact of recent advances in the field on our understanding of planet formation, structure and evolution. To illustrate how established theories can be challenged using careful experimentation.
Principal learning outcomes
At the end of this module you should: Be able to describe the interior, atmospheric composition and structure of the Solar System planets Be aware of the experimental methods used to search for extra-solar system planets; Understand the models being developed to describe planet formation and structure; Be aware of the wide range of planets observed and of the open questions; Be familiar with current thinking on the conditions needed for life to evolve and be able evaluate critically the prospects for the discovery of extra-terrestrial life.
Timetabled teaching activities
Other essential notes
The detection of planets orbiting stars other than the sun is technically challenging and it was not achieved until 1995. This module looks at how exoplanets are now being discovered in large numbers and how these discoveries are challenging existing theories of planet formation and evolution. Various methods of detection are considered, as well as methods used to determine physical properties such as temperature, density and composition. We explore likely physical explanations for the observed properties and identify questions that remain open in this active research field. Finally, we consider the prospects for detecting life on distant planets.
|Assessment group||Assessment name||Percentage|
|15 CATS (Module code: PX443-15)|
|B (Examination only)||2 hour examination (Summer)||100%|
This module is available on the following courses:
- Undergraduate Physics (BSc MPhys) (F304) - Year 4
- Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc MMathPhys) (FG33) - Year 4