Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Astrophysics I: Physics of the Sun
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Assignment sheets  30%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   Examination  70%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Classify the different regions of the Sun and infer their physical characteristics.

Describe the methods of helioseismology to obtain information on the internal structure of the Sun.

Discuss the processes of energy production and transfer through the Sun.

Critically review the observational and theoretical aspects of the atmospheric heating and the wind acceleration.

Summarise the main methods used in the description of plasmas, waves and instabilities.

Brief description

The module examines the physics of the Sun, our nearest star. Energy production in the Sun is considered and its transport from the solar interior to the Sun's atmosphere and heliosphere. Causes of solar activity are discussed. The essentials of plasma physics, magnetic fields, magnetic waves and instabilities are covered.


The module aims to introduce physical processes operating in the Sun and explain their effects.


Measuring and understanding the solar Interior;
Structure of the Sun;
Nuclear processes in the core;
Energy transport from the interior to the atmosphere;

The solar cycle;
Magnetic structures in the Sun;
'Frozen-in' fields;
Diffusion of magnetic field in a plasma;
Magnetic reconnection;
Basics of plasmas;
Waves and instabilities in plasmas;

Solar atmosphere and heliosphere;
Atmospheric and coronal heating;
Solar wind and heliosphere;
Parker's theory.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Creative Problem Solving Problem solving is a key skill in physics and will be tested via continuous assessment during the semester and in formal examination at the end of the module.
Professional communication Written communication is developed via the lecture assignments and feedback
Reflection Assignment feedback encourages self-directed learning and improves performance.
Subject Specific Skills The module will equip the students with the background for the advanced measurement techniques in the field, provide understanding of basic processes in the Sun.


This module is at CQFW Level 6