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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Physics and Astronomy : Undergraduate (School of Physics and Astronomy)

Undergraduate Course: Galaxies (PHYS11056)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Physics and Astronomy CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis is a self-contained 10pt level 11 course in S2 that links naturally with the 20pt level 10 Astrophysics course. It is an option for Astrophysics students on both BSc and MPhys programmes, and is available as an option to students on other degree programmes. Prerequisite is the level-10 Astrophysics course in S1, which reviews key concepts of observational astronomy related to galaxies. This fills a large gap in the current Astrophysics Degree Programme, where building upon the introductory Astrophysics and Cosmology courses there are advanced courses in stars, cosmology, and radiation processes, but not in galaxies.

The course will provide an overview of the dynamical modelling techniques used to interpret observations within the standard paradigm of structure formation, introduce key baryonic physical processes responsible for the formation and evolution of galaxies, describe the formation of galaxies within a hierarchical frame, outline feedback mechanisms and their impact on galaxies.
Course description * Dark matter haloes, scaling relations, mass function;
* Cooling & gravitational collapse of gas in haloes;
* Sizes of galaxies, dark matter fraction, adiabatic contraction;
* Global star formation, SK-law;
* Shaping the galaxy mass function, feedback;
* Early-type galaxies, formation and evolution;
* Late-type galaxies, formation and evolution;
* The Local Group. Milky Way, Andromeda and the satellite galaxy population;
* Hierarchical galaxy formation. Orbital distribution of CDM subhaloes. Dynamical friction;
* Mergers. Tidal disruption. Survival of satellite galaxies;
* Internal kinematics. Jeans modelling. Degeneracies;
* CDM predictions on galactic scales (missing satellite & core/cusp problems;
* Tidal streams. Mass distribution in the parent galaxy.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Astrophysics (PHYS10102)
It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Cosmology (PHYS10101)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 18, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 72 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% exam
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Galaxies2:00
Learning Outcomes
The student will be able to:
* Apply knowledge of core concepts in physics and astrophysics to understand galaxies;
* Formulate models of galaxy formation and evolution;
* Demonstrate knowledge of the frontiers of the discipline, for example, through cases where current theories fail to explain a set of observational data;
* Locate and make use of published information on current topics in this field using research literature;
* Summarise current thinking on galaxies in a variety of written and oral forms, both alone and in collaboration with others.
Reading List
Recommended reading material is Binney & Tremaine 'Galactic Dynamics' and Mo, van den Bosch and White 'Galaxy formation and evolution'.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserProf Sadegh Khochfar
Tel: 0131 668 8353
Course secretaryMrs Catriona Mowatt
Tel: (0131 6)68 8403
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