TÄHT7032 Active galactic nuclei 6 ECTS
Organised by
Person in charge
Jari Kotilainen, Talvikki Hovatta
Planned organizing times
Period(s) I II III IV
2017–2018 X

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

understand the observational methods that are used for studying active galactic nuclei (AGN) and related objects;

understand what is, at present, the main theoretical framework used to explain the observations, and what is the evidence for the framework;

explain the main observed AGN phenomena with the help of basic physical processes;

describe the main open questions in AGN research and what observational or theoretical advances are needed / planned for answering them;

understand the special terminology of AGN research and be able to use it in their own research.


History and overview, AGN taxonomy.

Radiation processes.

Evidence for and Physics of Black Holes.

The standard model for AGN: black holes and accretion disks.

The continuum radiation of AGN from radio to gamma-rays.

Line emission of AGN from broad and narrow line regions.

The physics of radio sources, jets and shocks.

Classification of AGN and unification models.

Surveys, luminosity functions, cosmic evolution, co-evolution of AGN and their host galaxies.

Further information on prerequisites and recommendations

Theoretical astrophysics, or similar studies. Bachelor level studies in physics and mathematics.

Teaching methods

Teaching method Contact Online
Lectures 28 h 0 h
Exercises 12 h 0 h

Homework and computer tasks

Teaching language


Modes of study

Option 1
Available for:
  • Degree Programme Students
  • Other Students
  • Doctoral Students
  • Exchange Students
Written exam
  • In English
Participation in classroom work
  • In English

Minimum 50% of exercises and the final written exam.


Numeric 0-5.

Recommended year of study

4. year spring
5. year spring

MSc-degree students, year 1 or 2

Study materials

Lecture notes.


1. A.K. Kembhavi & J.V. Narlikar: Quasars and Active Galactic Nuclei.

2. J. Krolik: Active Galactic Nuclei.

3. M. Boettcher, D.E. Harris & H. Krawczynski: Relativistic Jets from Active Galactic Nuclei

Belongs to following study modules

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Open enrolments

Dec 1, 2017 - Mar 11, 2018
Archived Teaching Schedule. Please refer to current Teaching Shedule.
Implementation details are unavailable.
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Degree Programme in Physical Sciences
DP in Physics Education Track
Degree Programme in Physical Sciences
DP in Theoretical Physics
Finnish Study Modules