COURSE GOALS: Course goals are to familiarize students with the most important concepts and methodology in nuclear astrophysics. The course is built on the mandatory courses from the fourth year of study, Nuclear Physics 1 and 2, as well as elective courses from the third and fourth years of study, Introduction to Astrophysics and Physics of stars (which are not a condition of entry). It is also an introduction to the courses, at a slightly higher level, that are taught at the doctoral studies of nuclear physics and / or astrophysics. The emphasis is on elements of astrophysics in which nuclear physics plays a particularly important role (nuclear reactions in the early universe and the stars, the synthesis of elements, explosive processes, structure of neutron stars). In addition, students within the course develop the necessary mathematical and computer skills, and are provided with an overview of the most important lines of research in this very dynamic scientific discipline. The course also prepares students for independent research work in the field of theoretical and experimental nuclear astrophysics.
LEARNING OUTCOMES AT THE LEVEL OF THE PROGRAMME:
1. KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
1.2 demonstrate profound knowledge of advanced methods of theoretical physics which include classical mechanics, classical electrodynamics, statistical physics and quantum physics
1.3 demonstrate profound knowledge of the most important physics theories, which includes their interpretation, experimental motivation and confirmation, logical and mathematical structure, and description of the related physical phenomena
1.4 outline and describe the latest scientific researches in the area of student's specialization
2. APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
2.1 develop a way of thinking that allows the student to set the model or to recognize and use the existing models in the search for solutions to specific physical and analog problems
2.3 apply standard methods of mathematical physics, in particular mathematical analysis and linear algebra and corresponding numerical methods when solving physics problems
2.5 independently carry out numerical calculations on a personal computer including the development of simple programs
3. MAKING JUDGEMENTS
3.2 develop a sense of personal responsibility through selection of the selective mandatory courses offered in the curriculum
4. COMMUNICATION SKILLS
4.2 acquire the skills needed to adapt the presentation of his/her research results to experts in the field as well as to broader public
4.3 use English as the language of communication in the profession, the use of literature, and writing scientific papers and articles
5. LEARNING SKILLS
5.1 consult professional literature independently as well as other relevant sources of information, which implies a good knowledge of English as a language of professional communication
5.3 engage in scientific work and research within the framework of postgraduate doctoral studies
LEARNING OUTCOMES SPECIFIC FOR THE COURSE:
Upon passing the course on Nuclear astrophysics, the student will be able to:
- Describe the process of primordial nucleosynthesis and connect it with the underlying distribution of elements in the universe;
- List and properly interpret the basic concepts of cosmology (baryons, cosmic microwave radiation, dark matter / energy);
- Qualitatively and quantitatively describe the nuclear reactions in stars and their role in the creation of chemical elements;
- Qualitatively and quantitatively describe the process of formation of the solar neutrinos and the role of solar neutrinos in the testing standard models of the Sun;
- Describe the process of the collapse of the core in supernovas, its role in the creation of elements heavier than iron, and to clarify the conditions which lead to the formation of neutron stars and black holes;
- Describe the processes induced by neutrons (s-process, r-process, rp-process) and neutrino processes in novae and supernovae and their role in the synthesis of heavier chemical elements;
- Indicate and critically consider the most important models of neutron stars;
- Define the concept of cosmic radiation, describe its structure and the potential impact on nucleosynthesis, and state and critically examine the possible sources of cosmic radiation;
- Qualitatively and quantitatively describe the method of determining the age of some astrophysical objects;
- Describe the basic experimental methods of nuclear astrophysics.
Lectures per weeks (15 weeks in total):
- Abundance of the chemical elements and primordial nucleosynthesis (2 weeks);
- Cosmology: baryons, cosmic microwave radiation, dark matter / energy (2 weeks);
- Nuclear reactions in stars: hydrogen burning, pp-chains, CNO cycle, helium, carbon and oxygen burning, photonuclear reactions, redistribution of elements (3 weeks);
- Solar neutrinos (1 week);
- Supernovae with the core collapse (1 week);
- nucleosynthesis in novae and supernovae and the s-process, r-process, rp-process, neutrino processes (2 weeks);
- Neutron stars (1 week);
- High-energy astrophysics (1 week);
- Radioactive dating of astrophysical objects (1 week);
- Modern experimental methods, techniques and facilities in nuclear astrophysics (1 week).
Exercises complement lectures with numerical examples.
REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS:
Students are required to regularly attend classes, actively participate in solving problems and exercises and to present a seminar on a given topic.
GRADING AND ASSESSING THE WORK OF STUDENTS:
During the semester students must make a seminar, submit it in the form of essay and present the results in front of other students and the teacher. At the end of the semester they will have an oral exam.