Faculty of Science

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway


This unit consists of three lecture sub-units and a practical component:

  • Nuclear physics: nuclear stability, shell model and angular momentum, radioactive decay selection rules, the neutrino and Fermi theory of beta decay, nuclear force;
  • Evolution of massive stars and synthesis of chemical elements; creation of supernova remnants and neutron stars, and types of continuum and line emission produced; interpreting X-ray spectra in relation to physical and chemical properties of these objects;
  • Elementary particles: spin, parity, isotopic spin, strangeness and baryon/lepton number, conservation laws of the fundamental interactions, symmetry theories.


On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • describe nuclear systematics, nuclear models and nuclear structure;
  • understand the evolution and nucleosynthesis in massive stars; continuum radiation, collisional plasmas and atomic line emission in X-ray band from supernova remnants; nuclear processes as the supernova shock wave propagates through the star;
  • relate observed X-ray spectra to structure and dynamics of supernova remnants and neutron stars:
  • describe the properties of elementary particles, their interactions and role in cosmological evolution;
  • undertake computation and analysis quantifying nuclear, stellar and particle properties;
  • present results, analysis and critical discussion based on a selected astrophysics topic.


Examinations (4.5 hours at 1.5 hours each): 72%
Assignments and Practical: 28%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Jasmina Lazendic-Galloway

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures and an average of 2 hours tutorial/practical per week


PHS2011, PHS2022, MTH2032, and either MTH2010 or MTH2015