Archive for reference only

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: High Energy Astrophysics (PHYS11013)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 5 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaUndergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe term `High Energy Astrophysics' can be interpreted in many different ways. In the most narrow sense, it refers to observations involving high energy photons, primarily X-rays and gamma-rays. In a broader and more astrophysical view, it refers to the study of objects such as supernovae, neutron stars, black holes, binary X-ray sources, gamma-ray bursts, active galactic nuclei, radio jets, and clusters of galaxies, which involve extreme conditions, like high energies, temperatures, or densities. These objects have high energy particles, even if the photons that they emit have much lower energies. This course examines the many physical processes which are important in the structure and emission of light from extreme astrophysical sources. Starting from Maxwell's equations, the classical theory of radiation from an accelerated charge is developed, and generalised to the relativistic case. Topic studied then include: synchrotron radiation from relativistic electrons gyrating in a magnetic field; the acceleration of particles to relativistic energies; Compton and inverse Compton scattering; accretion of material onto compact objects; Radio galaxies and quasars, and their jets; bremsstrahlung emission from hot gas; cooling flows and the role of black holes in galaxy formation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements At least 80 credit points accrued in courses of SCQF Level 9 or 10 drawn from Schedule Q. Students should have passed Physical Mathematics (PHYS09015) or some equivalent course.
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 22, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 60 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

1) From Maxwell's equations, derive and solve wave equations for the electrostatic and magnetic vector potentials.

2) Derive and apply Larmor's formula, and discuss the effects of enhanced energy loss and beaming of radiation for charges moving relativistically.

3) Demonstrate understanding of four-vectors, the summation convention, and invariants, and apply these to problems in astrophysical radiation mechanisms.

4) Derive the properties of Bremsstrahlung radiation, and use these to demonstrate understanding of astrophysical phenomena.

5) Describe the physical process of diffusive shock acceleration and compute the properties of the accelerated particle distribution.

6) Explain the origin of synchrotron radiation, derive its properties, and show how these can be used to derive physical parameters of astrophysical objects.

7) Identify the emission mechanism at work in a variety of astrophysical objects, and draw conclusions as to their properties.
Assessment Information
Degree Examination, 100%
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Philip Best
Course secretaryMiss Paula Wilkie
Tel: (0131) 668 8403
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information
© Copyright 2013 The University of Edinburgh - 13 January 2014 5:00 am