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Introductory Course

Approximately 30 lectures of 2 hours each which provide a broad brush overview of astrophysics with emphasis on basics, key physics, phenomenology and order of magnitude estimates. The contents is an abridged version of the program of the Advanced Courses.

Outline of the IMPRS Introductory Course

  • Introduction and overview (telescopes, instruments, slide show...)
  • Matter and radiation
  • Stars: global properties and spectra
  • Stellar structure, evolution and final stages
  • Interstellar medium, star formation and exo-planets
  • Galaxies: phenomenology
  • Stellar dynamics
  • Stellar populations, chemical evolution and star formation
  • Dark Matter, Gravitational lensing
  • Groups and clusters of galaxies
  • Active galactic nuclei and massive black holes
  • Cosmological standard model
  • Formation of structure in the universe
  • Galaxy formation and evolution
Every IMPRS student is supposed to pass an exam at the end of the course (usually in early February). The exam mostly provides an evaluation of the student's general astronomy background and should indicate where further learning is desirable. Students will be graded in categories A (very good), B (good), C (acceptable), D (sufficient) or F (failed). Students with grade F can repeat the exam if they fail the first time.