This unit is available in even numbered years only.
Stellar and Planetary Physics is an advanced unit in the Physics Major focusing on the production of energy in stars and the structure and energy balance of planets, including the Earth-Sun system and the physics of climate. Different sections of the unit concentrate on topics including: the structure of the solar interior and atmosphere; nuclear reaction networks in the Sun and other stars; stellar formation and evolution; radiation transfer through stellar and planetary atmospheres, including the processes of transmission, absorption, scattering and emission; space weather; aurorae and the Earth's magnetic field; remote sensing of the atmosphere and surface of the Earth; seismological probes of planetary and stellar interiors; terrestrial energy balance and climate change; numerical modelling techniques to describe stars, planets, and their atmospheres.
This unit builds upon topics covered in first- and second-year physics units and is recommended for students intending to major in physics. The topics covered are also suitable for students wishing to gain an understanding of the physics of astronomy, climatology, meteorology, Antarctic studies, physical geography, and related areas. The unit is taught only in even-numbered years; it alternates with KYA306, Astrophysics, so that all physics majors have the option to take one of these units treating macroscopic applications of gravitation, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and fluid dynamics. Honours students have the opportunity to take both units by planning accordingly.
|Unit name||Stellar and Planetary Physics|
|College/School||College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
|Coordinator||Associate Professor Andrew Cole|
|Available as student elective?||Yes|
|Location||Study period||Attendance options||Available to|
- International students
- Domestic students
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|Study Period||Start date||Census date||WW date||End date|
* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).
Unit census dates currently displaying for 2022 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2022 will be available from the 1st October 2021.
- Explain the principles underlying the structure of stars, planetary atmospheres, and their surroundings.
- Apply relevant theoretical knowledge of physical principles to the transfer of radiation through various media, including both stellar and planetary atmospheres.
- Explain and apply the observational and computational methods by which data are obtained for stellar and planetary systems including their immediate environs in space and their atmospheres.
- Formulate and test hypotheses regarding stellar and planetary systems through practical experimentation.
- Analyse the Earth-Sun system to evaluate evidence for and against competing hypotheses in stellar and terrestrial physics, including those regarding anthropogenic influence on climate.
|Field of Education||Commencing Student Contribution 1||Grandfathered Student Contribution 1||Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2||Domestic Full Fee|
1 Please refer here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses can be found here
If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.
Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.
PrerequisitesKYA212 Electromagnetism & Thermodynamics AND KMA252 Calculus and Applications 2 OR admission into a Masters of Applied Science course
3 x 50 minute lectures weekly, 1 x 50 minute tutorial weekly, 5 x 2-hr practicals
|Assessment||Stellar physics mid-term test. (15%)|Planetary physics mid-term test (15%)|Examination (45%)|Weekly Problem Set Assignments (10%)|Practical Activity and Report (15%)|
|Timetable||View the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable|
Course pack prepared by lecturers.
“Physics of Radiation and Climate”, 2015, Michael P. Box and Gail Box, CRC Press, ISBN-13 978-1466572058, e-book available.
|Links||Booktopia textbook finder|
The University reserves the right to amend or remove courses and unit availabilities, as appropriate.