Institution: various
Hours Equivalent Credit: 20
Assessment: Exam

Course Summary

This course looks into the origin, evolution and distribution of life  in the Universe, broadly considered as ‘astrobiology’. The objective of the course is to provide a perspective in geology, biology and chemistry at an introductory level.

Lecturer: Lyndsay Fletcher, Eduard Kontar, Moira Jardine
Institution: Glasgow
Hours Equivalent Credit: 10
Assessment: Online Quiz, worked examples, short essay

This is a biennial course that will not run in 2020/21 but is expected in 2021/22.

Course Summary

The course will give an overview of the physics of plasmas, and introduce applications in astrophysics. Beginning with basic definitions and ideas such as plasma waves and kinetic theory, the course will develop fundamental concepts in astrophysical plasma diagnostics, including cyclotron and synchrotron radiation, bremsstrahlung and recombination emission, wave-particle interactions and plasma emission (coherent and maser). Magnetohydrodynamics will be studied as a tool for understanding dynamos, solar and solar-terrestrial environments, and magnetospheres. The course will conclude with topical lectures on plasmas in different astrophysical environments.

Students are strongly advised to take the Semester 1 course on Plasma Physics in the Nuclear and Plasma Theme first.
Lecturer: Nicolas Labrosse
Institution: Glasgow
Hours Equivalent Credit: 18
Assessment:  50% oral exam, 50% report on computer-based project

Course Summary

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the physical processes at work in the solar atmosphere, and to the principles and practice of research in the physics of the solar atmosphere. It is compulsory to all students enrolled on the MSc in Astrophysics, and optional to all students on the MSc in Theoretical Physics.

Its aims are:

  • To develop the students’ knowledge of emission processes of electromagnetic radiation; plasma physics; instrumentation; data analysis; theory and modelling – all in the context of the study of the solar atmosphere.
  • To offer initial training in solar physics research which will be useful for students interested in pursuing a career in astrophysics or theoretical astrophysics.
Lecturer: Aleks Scholz
Institution: St. Andrews
Hours Equivalent Credit: 15
Assessment:  mock observing proposal as homework

Course Summary

The course includes 5 lectures on the basics of professional observations, given by observatory director Dr. Aleks Scholz.  This will be complemented by 5 lectures on specialised observing techniques, given by St. Andrews staff members.  Observations will be made through remotely controlled telescopes.

In 2020/21, this course will not include nighttime observations in person, but instead will be conducted online.