TÄHT7036 High-energy astrophysics 8 ECTS
Organised by
Person in charge
Juri Poutanen, Sergey Tsygankov
Planned organizing times
Period(s) I II III IV
2017–2018 X X
Preceding studies

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students should be able to:
- describe the physics of compact stars and derive the mass-radius relationship for compact stars assuming degenerate electron or neutron pressure;
- outline the main methods of measuring masses, radii and spins of compact stars;
- show the Galactic distribution of different classes of compact stars;
- discuss the period-period derivative relation for pulsars and place there different classes of pulsars;
- describe different methods of the magnetic field determination of compact stars;
- describe the main methods of detecting X-rays and gamma-rays;
- obtain and analyze the archival X/gamma-ray data on the object of interest;
- develop self-study skills;
- solve problems on topics in the syllabus;
- read, understand and be able to answer questions on scientific refereed articles in the field of high-energy astrophysics.


Neutron stars, formation and structure.
Degenerate neutron gas, equation of state, mass-radius relation.
Mass determination in binary systems.
Radio pulsars, X-ray pulsars, accreting millisecond pulsars.
X-ray sources in the Milky Way. Low- and high-mass X-ray binaries.
Stellar-mass black holes. Intermediate-mass black holes.
Supermassive black holes in the Milky Way and in other galaxies.
Physics of accretion, spherical accretion, accretion disks.
Observations of accreting neutron stars and black holes, spectral and temporal properties.
Clusters of galaxies.
Relativistic jets in AGN and gamma-ray bursts.
X-ray and gamma-ray detectors. Main high-energy observatories.
Analysis of the archival X/gamma-ray data.
The course contains a number of demanding computer exercises and data analysis tasks.

Teaching methods

Teaching method Contact Online
Lectures 40 h 0 h
Exercises 16 h 0 h

Homework, simulation and data-analysis exercises

Teaching language


Modes of study

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

Minimum 50% of exercises, simulation and data-analysis exercises, and the final exam.

Evaluation and evaluation criteria

Numeric 0-5.
Home exercises constitute 30% and the exam 70% of the final score.

Recommended year of study

4. year autumn
5. year autumn

MSc-degree students, year 1 or 2

Study materials

Lecture notes.
1. Charles P.A., Seward F.D.: Exploring the X-ray Universe, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1995
2. Frank J., King A., Raine D.: Accretion power in Astrophysics, 3rd ed., Cambridge Univ. Press, 2002.

Belongs to following study modules

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Department of Physics and Astronomy
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