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PHY3040 : Stellar Structure and Evolution

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Tamara Rogers
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module will cover the essential physics of the internal structure of stars, including the basic equations of stellar structure and the microphysics of the equation of state, opacity and nuclear reactions. We will quantitatively examine how stars evolve prior and subsequent to the main sequence. Observations will be used to motivate what we’re doing and to introduce essential terminology.

Outline Of Syllabus

Observational Framework of Astronomy, Equation of State, Classical Mechanics Applied to Stellar Structure, Additional Equations of State, Energy Transport, Chemical Composition of Stellar Matter, Numerical Computation of Stellar Structure, The Evolution of Stars, from pre to post main Sequence.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Formal Lectures – Present in Person and non-synchronous online
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion111:0011:00Examination revision
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Completion of coursework
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study451:0045:00Preparation time for lectures, background reading, coursework review
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are used for the delivery of theory and explanation of methods, illustrated with examples, and for giving general feedback on marked work.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A60N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M40Problem-solving exercises
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A substantial formal unseen examination is appropriate for the assessment of the material in this module. The coursework assignment allows the students to develop their problem-solving techniques, to practise the methods learnt in the module, to assess their progress and to receive feedback; this assessment has a secondary formative purpose as well as a primary summative purpose.

In the event of on-campus examinations not being possible, an on-line alternative assessment will be used for written examination 1.

Reading Lists