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

HITS, the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, was established in 2010 by 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, mathematical, and computer sciences. Major research directions include complex simulations across scales, making sense of data, and enabling science via computational research. Application areas range from molecular biology to astrophysics. An essential characteristic of the Institute is interdisciplinarity, implemented in numerous cross-group and cross-disciplinary projects. The base funding of HITS is provided by the Klaus Tschira Foundation.

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