NWI-NB066B
Origin of the Elements
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-NB066B
Credits (ECTS)3
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Language of instructionDutch, English
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; Wiskunde, Natuur- en Sterrenkunde;
Lecturer(s)
Coordinator
dr. O.R. Pols
Other course modules lecturer
Lecturer
dr. O.R. Pols
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. O.R. Pols
Other course modules lecturer
Examiner
dr. O.R. Pols
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2023
Period
KW2  (06/11/2023 to 28/01/2024)
Starting block
KW2
Course mode
full-time
Remarks-
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Pre-registrationNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
Aims
  • The student understands the physics of thermonuclear reactions
  • Understanding of other stellar evolution processes that play a role in nucleosynthesis
  • The student understands the processes of element production in the early Universe, during stellar evolution and by stellar explosions
  • Understanding of how the heaviest elements are formed
  • The student is able to interpret observed chemical abundances of stars in terms of all these nucleosynthesis processes happening over cosmic time
Content
'We are all made of stardust': all elements (except hydrogen and helium) on earth and elsewhere in the Universe were once synthesized by nuclear reactions in the centers of stars and in supernova explosions. In this course we will investigate by which physical processes and under which astrophysical circumstances the elements were formed in the Universe, a subject also known as nucleosynthesis. Topics that will be treated are: the theory of theormonuclear reactions; nucleosynthesis in the Big Bang; nucleosynthesis in massive stars and in supernovae; synthesis of the heaviest elements by neutron capture in red giant stars; and the evolution of the chemical composition of stars and the interstellar medium over cosmic time.
Level

Presumed foreknowledge
The basic properties of elementary particles (protons, neutrons, neutrinos etc) and atomic nuclei should be known. Additionally, a basic understanding of the evolution of stars is needed to be able to follow this course.

Recommended courses: Sterevolutie (NWI-NB012B), Elementaire deeltjes (NWI-NP029B).
Test information
Written or oral exam, depending on the number of participants.
Specifics
This course forms part of the astronomy minor and fits within the research theme Astrophysics
Recommended materials
Book
Bernard E.J. Pagel, Nucleosynthesis and chemical evolution of galaxies, 2nd Edition, 2009, Cambridge University Press, Hardback
ISBN:9780521840309

Instructional modes
Course

Tests
Exam
Test weight1
Test typeExam
OpportunitiesBlock KW2, Block KW3