TÄHT7010 Radiative Processes in Astrophysics 8 ECTS
Organised by
Person in charge
Alexander Riehokainen
Planned organizing times
Period(s) I II III IV
2017–2018 X X
Preceding studies

Learning outcomes

The student should understand in the end of the course the main concepts from classical and quantum radiation theories. Student should be able to compute emission and absorption coefficients for considered radiative processes, solve radiative transfer equation and by comparing solutions to the observed data determine physical conditions in the astrophysical sources. Student should develop self-study skills and be able to solve problems on topics in the syllabus.


Basic properties of radiation, specific intensity, flux, radiation pressure.
Thermal radiation. Radiative diffusion. Radiative transfer equation.
The Einstein coefficients, scattering effects.
Basic theory of radiation fields.
Maxwell equations, plane waves, radiation spectrum, polarization, Stokes parameters.
Retarded potentials, multipole radiation, Larmor formula.
Thomson scattering.
Special relativity, relativistic effects, Lorentz transformations.
Radiation from moving charges. Bremsstrahlung, cyclotron and synchrotron radiation.
Compton scattering, inverse Compton effect. Pair production. Electron kinetic equation.
Astrophysical applications to the emission processes in pulsars, relativistic jets in quasars, accretion-powered compact sources such as black holes and neutron stars, clusters of galaxies, and gamma-ray bursts.
The course contains a number of demanding home and computer exercises.

Teaching methods

Teaching method Contact Online
Lectures 40 h 0 h
Exercises 16 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

Min. 50% of 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 spring
5. year spring

MSc-degree students, year 1 or 2

Study materials

Lecture notes.
Rybicki, G. & Lightman, A.: Radiative Processes in Astrophysics.
Shu, F.H.: The Physics of Astrophysics. Vol 1, Radiation.
Jackson, J.D.: Classical Electrodynamics  
Astrophysical refereed papers.

Belongs to following study modules

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Open enrolments

Dec 1, 2017 - Jan 14, 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