Subject PHYC30019 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - 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

Lectures and problem solving classes

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 to 4 hours per week, 36 in total, lectures and problem-solving classes
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 120 hours


One of

And Mathematics

Either both of


  • 620-296 Multivariable & Vector Calculus (prior to 2010)

For students who commenced second year level mathematics prior to 2009:

One of

And one of

  • 620-232 Mathematical Methods (prior to 2010)
  • 620-234 Mathematical Methods Advanced (prior to 2009).
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects:

Students cannot gain for this subject and either of the following

  • 640-237 Astrophysics & Optics II (prior to 2009)
  • 640-351 Astrophysics & Optics III (prior to 2010)
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 Rachel Webster



Subject Overview:

This subject provides an introduction to astrophysics in which the basic structure of stars, our galaxy and the universe will be discussed, and the most recent research questions will be introduced.

Topics covered include:

  • structure and evolution of stars, the structure of the Milky Way and other cosmic objects, cosmological models,
  • emission processes in astrophysics, high energy astrophysics and cosmology,
  • radiation processes, degenerate stars, black holes, accretion processes and relativistic cosmology.

To challenge students to expand their knowledge of fundamental astrophysics principles and develop their capacity to:

  • explain the structure and evolution of stars, the Milky Way and other cosmic objects and discuss cosmological models;
  • explain the processes underlying emission processes in astrophysics, high energy astrophysics and cosmology;
  • demonstrate an understanding of emission processes, degenerate stars, black holes, accretion processes and relativistic cosmology, and solve problems relevant to these topics.

Two written assignments each totalling up to an equivalent of 1500 words due during semester (10% each); project work involving 15-minute group presentation and written report up to 1000 words due during semester (10%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (70%).

Prescribed Texts:

Dan Maoz, Astrophysics in a Nutshell, Princeton University Press, 2007

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
Generic Skills:

A student who completes this subject should be able to:

  • analyse how to solve a problem by applying simple fundamental laws to more complicated situations;
  • apply abstract concepts to real-world situations;
  • solve relatively complicated problems using approximations;
  • participate as an effective member of a group in tutorial discussions;
  • manage time effectively in order to be prepared for tutorial classes, undertake written assignments and the examination, and prepare and give a group presentation.
Notes: This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Physics

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