Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse – Københavns Universitet

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Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse

Computational Astrophysics: Star and Planet Formation

Practical information
Study year 2016/2017
Block 2
Programme level Full Degree Master
Course responsible
  • Troels Haugbølle (17-817f7c7279803b756e82746f7c727979724d807b7a3b78823b7178)
  • The Niels Bohr Institute
Course number: NFYK14018U

Course content

The course gives an introduction to contemporary computational astrophysics, and covers both technical aspects, in particular efficient code development and parallelization, methods including fluid and particle dynamics, gravitational collapse, radiative energy transfer, and an overview of computational models for microphysical processes, such as cooling, heating, dust dynamics, and astrochemistry. The course exercises introduce and illustrate these concepts, and give a “hands-on” feeling for how and in what context they are used. During the course exercises the students will build a highly modular yet simple core program, which includes most of the methods covered in the lectures. 

Learning outcome


  • Modeling the dynamics of the interstellar medium
  • Modeling gravitational collapse
  • Solving the radiation transfer equation
  • Using radiative transfer in connection with analysis and modeling of observations
  • Modeling dust dynamics and gas-dust interaction
  • Reporting on current theories and models of star and planet formation.


The student will come to know the fundamental equations that govern astrophysical gas dynamics, including radiative energy transfer and coupled gas-dust dynamics. In addition the student will achieve knowledge of the basic computational techniques used in modern astrophysics including the principles of adaptive mesh refinement techniques and particle methods.


The course gives basic competences in numerical modelling, and will establish a foundation for a M.Sc. project based on numerical modelling.

Recommended prerequisites

Bachelor courses: "Galakser" and "Planetsystemer og stjernedannelse".
The M.Sc. course The Interstellar Medium and Formation of Stars is recommended but not required


The course is given every year.

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MSc Programme in Physics


Study Board of Physics, Chemistry and Nanoscience

Course type

Single subject courses (day)


Åke Nordlund, telefon: 21 45 49 83, e-mail: aake@nbi.dk


1 block


---- SKEMA LINK ----

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, exercises and projects work


no limit




P. Bodenheimer, G. P. Laughlin, M. Rozyczka, T. Plewa, H. W. Yorke: “Numerical Methods in Astrophysics”.  Complemented with lecture notes.


Category Hours
Lectures 28
Theory exercises 28
Project work 28
Exam 30
Preparation 92
English 206


Type of assessment

Continuous assessment
Written assignment
The exam consists of two parts:
The continuous part of the evaluation, wich consists of 2-3 exercises per week, counts for 70% of the final grade.
A written 4-day report (Monday to Thursday) with an oral defense (Friday) counts for 30% of the final grade.

Marking scale

7-point grading scale

Criteria for exam assessment

see learning outcome

Censorship form

No external censorship
two internal examiners; the course responsible and an internal censor.


The re-exam consists of two parts: A 4-day report (Monday to Thursday) with an oral defense (Friday) counting for 30% of the grade. New solutions to the weekly exercies can be handed in to cover the continuous part of the evaluation (70%) no later than 2 weeks before the start of the 4-day report.

Mere information om kurset
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