F3080 Introduction into Physics of Stars

Faculty of Science
Autumn 2011
Extent and Intensity
3/1/0. 2 credit(s) (fasci plus compl plus > 4). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
prof. RNDr. Zdeněk Mikulášek, CSc. (lecturer)
prof. Mgr. Jiří Krtička, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. Marek Skarka, Ph.D. (seminar tutor)
Guaranteed by
prof. RNDr. Zdeněk Mikulášek, CSc.
Department of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics - Physics Section - Faculty of Science
Contact Person: prof. RNDr. Zdeněk Mikulášek, CSc.
Mon 12:00–14:50 F3,03015
  • Timetable of Seminar Groups:
F3080/01: Wed 10:00–10:50 Fs1,01017, M. Skarka
F3080/02: Mon 18:00–18:50 F4,03017, M. Skarka
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The main objectives of the course is the understanding of the structure of inner parts of the stars, stellar atmospheres, and evolution.
  • The definition of astrophysics. The main building blocks of our Universe. The parameters of our Sun and their relationship with other star. Stellar parameters. A typical star in the solar neighbourhood. The selection effect.
  • Definition of stars, models. Mechanical equilibrium in star. Estimate of the central pressure. Physical state of the matter in the star, high-temperature plasma. Thermodynamic equilibrium. Why do stars radiate? Stellar contraction.
  • Ideal gas. Estimate of the central stellar temperature. Electromagnetic radiation, its characteristics, and its origin. Black body radiation. Photon gas. What is the origin of solar photons?
  • Thermonuclear reactions and its role in the stellar energetics. Nucleosynthesis. Energy equilibrium. Radiative diffusion. Opacity and its sources.
  • Mass-luminosity relationship. Eddington luminosity. Convection.
  • The dependence of the characteristics and life time on mass. Stellar structure equations. The origin of the stellar evolution.
  • First ideas of the stellar nature. The benginning of the stellar spectroscopy and astrophysics. The nature of the stellar atmospheres? What is the evidence about their existence?
  • Atomic structure. Hydrogen atom structure. Energy levels. Excitation and deexcitation. Spectrum of hydrogen and hydrogen-like atoms. The nature of spectral series. Structure and spectrum of more complex atoms. Bound-free and free-free transitions and its effect on the spectrum. Interaction of atoms with radiation. Radiation of dense and tenuous gas. Why do star radiate similar to black body?
  • The origin of spectrum in the stellar atmosphere. Continuum and line transitions. Line profiles and their broadening. Model stellar atmospheres.
  • Ionization and excitation in the stellar atmospheres. Boltzmann and Saha equation. The dependence of spectrum on temperature and pressure. Spectral classification.
  • Solar atmosphere. Photosphere, chromosphere, corona, and solar wind.
  • General characteristics of the stellar evolution (example of our Sun).
  • Formation of stars. Evolution up to T Tauri stage. The evolution of the stellar core till the end of the main sequence. The late phases of the evolution of the stellar core.
  • The electron degeneracy and its role in the stellar evolution. Mass loss and its role.
  • Evolution of our Sun till the present times. Structure of present Sun. Expected future evolution of our Sun. The evolution of ideas on the formation and evolution of Sun and stars.
  • The definition of the late stages of the stellar evolution. List of possible evolutionary paths. The degenerate gas. Equation of state of cold catalysed matter. Neutron stars. Black holes.
  • MIKULÁŠEK, Zdeněk and Jiří KRTIČKA. Základy fyziky hvězd. 2005. info
  • An introduction to modern astrophysics. Edited by Bradley W. Carroll - Dale A. Ostlie. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Pearson Addison-Wesley, 2007. 1 v. (vari. ISBN 978-0-321-44284-0. info
Teaching methods
3 hour standard lesson + one hour exercise in a week
Assessment methods
oral exam
Language of instruction
Follow-Up Courses
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course can also be completed outside the examination period.
The course is taught once in two years.
General note: L.
Teacher's information
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2007 - for the purpose of the accreditation, Autumn 1999, Autumn 2001, Autumn 2003, Autumn 2005, Autumn 2007, Autumn 2009, Autumn 2010, Autumn 2011 - acreditation, spring 2012 - acreditation, Autumn 2013, Autumn 2015, autumn 2017, Autumn 2019.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2011, recent)
  • Permalink: https://is.muni.cz/course/sci/autumn2011/F3080