Lecture: Stellar structures, evolution, and explosions

17. October 2016

Winter semester 2016/2017

Prof. Dr. F. Röpke, L. Horst, Dr. P. Edelmann, Dr. S. Jones, Dr. S. Ohlmann

Lecture:  Tuesday, 14 – 16 h

Homework session: Tuesday, 16 – 18 h

The homework problems have to be uploaded. Click here to find the lecture on the E-learning system.


Stars are the building blocks of the Universe. This lecture covers their structures, evolution, and explosions from a theoretical point of view.

  • Brief overview of observational results
  • Theoretical modeling approaches
    • fluid mechanics and mechanical equilibrium of stars
    • simple stellar models
    • energetic equilibrium of stars
  • Physical properties of stellar matter
    • stellar thermodynamics
    • equation of state
    • opacities
  • Nuclear processes in stars
    • energy production and reactions
    • thermonuclear reaction rates
    • main nuclear burning cycles
    • neutrino emission
  • Energy transport in stellar interiors
    • radiation, diffusion, conduction
    • convection
  • Stellar evolution models
    • basic equations
    • stellar stability
    • homology relations
    • schematic stellar evolution
  • Early stages of stellar evolution and main sequence phase
    • pre-main sequence
    • zero-age main sequence
    • central hydrogen burning
  • Post-main sequence evolution
    • Schoenberg-Chandrasekhar limit
    • hydrogen-shell burning
    • helium burning
    • pulsational instability
  • Late evolution of low- and intermediate mass stars
    • the asymptotic giant branch
    • white dwarfs
  • Massive stars
    • stellar winds
    • advanced burning stages
    • pre-supernova evolution
  • Stellar explosions
    • supernovae
    • stellar remnants

About HITS

The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) was established in 2010 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science, with a focus on the processing, structuring, and analyzing of large amounts of complex data and the development of computational methods and software. The research fields range from molecular biology to astrophysics. The shareholders of HITS are the HITS-Stiftung, which is a subsidiary of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). HITS also cooperates with other universities and research institutes and with industrial partners. The base funding of HITS is provided by the HITS Stiftung with funds received from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The primary external funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the European Union.

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