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SH2403 Astrophysics, Advanced Course 6.0 credits

This is an advanced course in Astrophysics.

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus SH2403 (Spring 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course gives a solid foundation in astrophysics, with particular emphasis on high-energy astrophysics. The following topics are covered:

  • Continuum spectra: Compton emission, Synchrotron emission and Brehmsstrahlung.
  • Accretion onto neutron stars and black holes
  • Astrophysical applications of the theory of relativity
  • Compact objects (black holes and neutron stars) and phenomena related to these objects (e.g., active galactic nuclei, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts), with particular focus on relevant radiation processes.

Intended learning outcomes

After completing the course the student should be able to:

  • Describe the most important radiation processes in the Universe.
  • Apply the theories for the production of continuum spectra to calculate the most important properties of the emitting object/medium from observed spectra.
  • Explain the main points of accretion theory and use the theory to solve problems for relevant astrophysical phenomena.
  • Describe Compact objects (black holes and neutron stars) and phenomena related to these objects (e.g., active galactic nuclei, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts).
  • Apply the learning outcomes above to critically evaluate different ways of using high-energy observations to study the properties of compact objects.

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

English B / English 6

Recommended prerequisites

Astrophysics equivalent to SH2204 and Mathematical methods in physics.


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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • INL1 - Exercises, 2.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • PRO1 - Project Work, 4.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade

Hand-in exercises (2hp)

Project work (4 hp)

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web SH2403

Offered by

Main field of study


Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Josefin Larsson,