Astrophysics & Optics III

Subject 640-351 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 lectures and up to six 1-hour tutorials
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours total time commitment.

Physics 640-225 or 640-245. Mathematics 620-231 or 620-233; and mathematics 620-232 or 620-234.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Prof Keith Alexander Nugent, Prof Rachel Lindsey Webster
Subject Overview:

This subject develops the study of astrophysics and optics and introduces powerful mathematical tools of more general applicability in engineering and the physical sciences. In astrophysics this subject will concentrate on emission processes, high-energy astrophysics and cosmology, while the other section of the subject provides an introduction to Fourier optics, imaging and nonlinear optics.


Students completing this subject should be able to:

  • explain the principles underlying emission processes in astrophysics, high energy astrophysics and cosmology;

  • demonstrate an understanding of radiation processes, degenerate stars, black holes, accretion processes and relativistic cosmology and solve problems relevant to these topics;

  • be able to apply the principles of Fourier, convolution and correlation to solving problems in diffraction and optical imaging; and

  • demonstrate an appreciation of the role of coherence in optical physics as well as an understanding of pulsed laser systems and nonlinear optical processes.

In addition, students will enhance their ability to plan effective work schedules and manage their time to meet the deadlines for submission of assessable work and prepare for tests and examinations.


Written assignments totalling up to 3000 words due during the semester (20%); project work involving a 15-minute group presentation and written report up to 1000 words due during the semester (10%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (70%).

Prescribed Texts:
  • Optics (E Hecht), 4th edn, Addison-Wesley
  • An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics (B Carol and D Ostlie), Addison-Wesley
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Notes: This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (pre-2008 degree only), BASc or a combined BSc course.

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