Univ. Belgrade
Prof. T. Prodanović
Introduction to Nucleosynthesis and Particle Astrophysics
(S2, elective, 6 ECTS)
Learning Outcomes:After the successful completion of the course “Introduction to nucleosynthesis and particle astrophysics” the students will have learned about the theory behind the fundamental processes involved in nucleosynthesis of chemical elements as well as about the methods that are used to test these theories, and thus will be trained to, based on measured abundances, make conclusions about the origin of chemical elements and processes at play.
Knowledge and Understanding:
Nucleosynthesis and particle astrophysics investigate the origin of chemical elements in the universe due to different processes at play: big bang nucleosynthesis, stellar nucleosynthesis, synthesis in supernova explosions, cosmic-ray nucleosynthesis. The goal of this course is to teach the students about the processes that have contributed and still contribute to the synthesis of chemical elements, as well as to teach them about the methods used in scientific research which allows us to, based on measured abundances, make conclusions about nucleo-synthetic processes.
Applying Knowledge and Understanding:In the goal of active learning, a lot of attention will be given to practical work both during lectures and in the form of homework assignments and term paper. Students will be encouraged to by using real data make conclusions about the origin of elements and chemical evolution, as well as to solve problems during lectures that will later help them successfully complete homework assignments and a written exam. The goal of the term paper is to bring a deeper understanding of a chosen topic to a student. After finding the appropriate literature, students will write an overview of the topic and point out the main concepts and conclusions. An important part of the term paper will be a preparation and successful completion of the presentation of the chosen topic, with the goal of learning how to write and deliver a good presentation.
ProgramOverview of thermonuclear reactions and rates; measuring chemical abundances; big-bang nucleosynthesis and the origin of light elements; cosmic abundances – observations and problems; nonstandard big bang nucleosynthesis; introduction to stellar evolution and synthesis of chemical elements; neutron capture processes and synthesis of heavy elements; cosmic-ray nucleosynthesis; introduction to galactic chemical evolution.
Description of how the course is conducted
Description of the didactic methodsLectures, homework assignments, writing and presenting the term paper. Lectures will be given in the Power Point multimedia form that will be available to students after the lectures as well on the web-page specifically designed for this course. Besides past lectures, this web-page will also contain all the important information for students attending this course. Whenever possible, in class demonstrations will also be prepared and executed, with the goal of better understanding of new concepts. Besides in lectures, the Lecturer will be available to students during designated office hours as well as via email.
Description of the evaluation methodsActivity 5% Practical work 20% Term paper 15% Written Exam 30% Oral Exam 30%
Adopted Textbooks“Nucleosynthesis and Chemical Evolution of Galaxies”, Pagel, B. E. J., Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-55958-8 (1997)
Recommended readings