Offered to students admitted to Year 1 in ALL
Major/Minor ALL
Course Type
Offer in 2018 - 2019 Y N
Course Code PHYS4650
Date2019/07/23 19:24
Enquiry for Course Details
PHYS4650 Stellar physics (6 credits) Academic Year 2018
Offering Department Physics Quota ---
Course Co-ordinator Dr S C Y Ng, Physics < ncy@bohr.physics.hku.hk >
Teachers Involved (Dr S C Y Ng,Physics)
Course Objectives To introduce the basic theory of stellar structure and evolution.  It follows a vigorous mathematical treatment that stresses on the underlying physical processes.  Knowledge in quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics will be advantageous.
Course Contents & Topics Topics include: Definition of stars. The H-R diagram. Stellar structure equations. Polytropic model.  Elementary stellar radiation processes. Simple stellar nuclear processes. Saha equation. Stability of stars. Zero-age main sequence stars and their evolution. The solar neutrino problem. Late stage evolution of stars. Supernova explosion. If time permits, special topics selected from below will be briefly mentioned: star formation, brown dwarfs and planets, AGB stars and planetary nebulae, binary stars and their evolution, Cepheid variables and theory of stellar pulsation, and introduction to helioseismology.
Course Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

CLO 1 describe what is stars and to classify different types of stars
CLO 2 analytically calculate and solve problems related to the structure and evolution of stars including the use of stellar structure equations and Saha equations
CLO 3 critically examine the physical processes occurring in stars and how these processes affect the evolution of stars
CLO 4 assess selected research papers in the field of stellar astrophysics
Pre-requisites
(and Co-requisites and
Impermissible combinations)
Pass in PHYS3351 and PHYS3651
Course Status with Related Major/Minor /Professional Core 2U000C00 Course not offered under any Major/Minor/Professional core
2017 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Minor in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Minor in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2016 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Minor in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2015 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2014 Major in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2014 Major in Mathematics/Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2014 Major in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
2014 Minor in Astronomy ( Disciplinary Elective )
2014 Minor in Physics ( Disciplinary Elective )
Course to PLO Mapping 2017 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2017 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2017 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2016 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2016 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2016 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2015 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2015 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2015 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2014 Major in Astronomy < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2014 Major in Mathematics/Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
2014 Major in Physics < PLO 1,2,3,4 >
Offer in 2018 - 2019 Y        2nd sem    Examination May     
Offer in 2019 - 2020 Y
Course Grade A+ to F
Grade Descriptors
A Demonstrate thorough mastery at an advanced level of extensive knowledge and skills required for attaining all the course learning outcomes. Show strong analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, with evidence of original thought, and ability to apply knowledge to a wide range of complex, familiar and unfamiliar situations. Apply highly effective organizational and presentational skills.
B Demonstrate substantial command of a broad range of knowledge and skills required for attaining at least most of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge to familiar and some unfamiliar situations. Apply effective organizational and presentational skills.
C Demonstrate general but incomplete command of knowledge and skills required for attaining most of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of some analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge to most familiar situations. Apply moderately effective organizational and presentational skills.
D Demonstrate partial but limited command of knowledge and skills required for attaining some of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of some coherent and logical thinking, but with limited analytical and critical abilities. Show limited ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. Apply limited or barely effective organizational and presentational skills.
Fail Demonstrate little or no evidence of command of knowledge and skills required for attaining the course learning outcomes. Lack of analytical and critical abilities, logical and coherent thinking. Show very little or no ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. Organization and presentational skills are minimally effective or ineffective.
Course Type Lecture-based course
Course Teaching
& Learning Activities
Activities Details No. of Hours
Lectures 36
Tutorials 12
Reading / Self study 80
Assessment Methods
and Weighting
Methods Details Weighting in final
course grade (%)
Assessment Methods
to CLO Mapping
Assignments 10 CLO 1,2,3,4
Examination 2-hour written exam 60 CLO 1,2,3
Project reports 10 CLO 1,2,3,4
Test 20 CLO 1,2,3
Required/recommended reading
and online materials
Lecture notes provided by Course Coordinator
Prialnik, D.: An introduction to the theory of stellar structure and evolution, 2nd ed. (CUP, 2010)
A. C. Phillips, The Physics of Stars (John Wiley & Sons, 1999)
Bowers, R. & Deeming, T.: Astrophysics I. Stars (Jones and Bartlett, 1984)
Francis, LeBlanc, An Introduction to Stellar Astrophysics (Wiley, 2010)
Course Website http://www.physics.hku.hk/~phys4650/
Additional Course Information NIL
Back  /  Home