Nuclear Astrophysics

This module introduces students to the physics of stars and the closely related processes of nucleosynthesis. A brief review of basic astronomy and an introduction to the relevant nuclear physics is given, followed by a discussion of the big bang cosmology. Then important elements of the structure of stars are discussed, including: heat transfer in stars, thermo-nuclear fusion in stars, stellar structures and star life-cycles. We will discuss nucleosynthesis via quiescent burning, and the various processes that lead to the production of heavy (A>60) elements. The module ends with an introduction to very recent developments, e.g. gamma and neutrino astronomy.

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