Skip to content

Module Catalogue

Breadcrumbs navigation

AS4012   The Physics of Nebulae and Stars 2

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 15

ECTS credits : 7

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 2

Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students

Planned timetable: 11.00 am odd Mon, Wed, Fri, 3.00 pm even Tue (TBC)

This module develops the physics of stellar interiors and atmospheres from the basic equations of stellar structure introduced in AS2001/AS2101 using the radiative transfer concepts developed in Nebulae and Stars I. Topics include: the equation of state that provides pressure support at the high temperatures and densities found in normal and white-dwarf stars; the interaction of radiation with matter, both in terms of radiation-pressure support in super-massive stars and in terms of the role of opacity in controlling the flow of energy from the stellar interior to the surface; the equation of radiative transfer and the effects of local temperatures, pressures and velocity fields on the continuum and line absorption profiles in the emergent spectrum. Computer-aided tutorial exercises illustrate the computational schemes that represent one of the triumphs of late twentieth-century physics, in their ability to predict the observable properties of a star from its radius and luminosity, which in turn are determined by its mass, age and chemical composition.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass AS4011

Anti-requisite(s): You cannot take this module if you take AS4023 or take AS3015

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 3 lectures occasionally replaced by whole-group tutorials.

Scheduled learning hours: 32

Guided independent study hours: 118

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Written Examination = 75%, Coursework = 25%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 75%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 25%

Re-assessment: Oral Re-assessment, capped at grade 7


Module teaching staff: TBC

Additional information from school

Please see also the information in the School's Handbook for Honours modules available via This link also gives access to timetables for the modules