PHY104: Introduction to Astrophysics


PHY104 provides an introduction to astrophysics for first year undergraduates. This module aims to equip students with a basic understanding of the important physical concepts and techniques involved in astronomy with an emphasis on how fundamental results can be derived from fairly simple observations.


Assessment is primarily via an end of semester written examination (80 per cent), plus problem class homeworks (15 per cent) and a mid-term class test (5 per cent).


Lectures are normally held in Hicks LT-C on Tuesday at 10am and Thursday at 10am in the 2017/18 Spring semester. Problem classes are held on Wed (10am, F28), Wed (12, F38) and Fri (11, F28) - students are assigned to one of these four classes).


  • Chapter 1 - Properties of light
  • Chapter 2 - Magnitudes
  • Chapter 3 - Distances
  • Chapter 4 - Motion of celestial objects
  • Chapter 5 - Thermal Continuum Radiation
  • Chapter 6 - Thermal Properties of Matter
  • Chapter 7 - A brief history of astronomical spectroscopy
  • Chapter 8 - Bohr model of the atom
  • Chapter 9 - Line strength
  • Chapter 10 - Gravitational Astrophysics
  • Chapter 11 - Measuring mass
Lecture notes, problem class questions are available via the PHY104 MOLE site.