2023-2024 / SPAT0044-1

Stellar structure and evolution I


35h Th

Number of credits

 Master in mathematics (120 ECTS)4 crédits 
 Master in space sciences (120 ECTS)3 crédits 
 Master in mathematics (60 ECTS)4 crédits 


Marc-Antoine Dupret

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The two courses Stellar Structure and Evolution I and II provide a detailed picture of the theory of stellar structure and evolution. It is recommended to follow the two parts during the same academic year. In the first part, the basic processes acting in stellar interiors are explained. Next, a synthetic presentation of the evolution of stars from their birth to their ultimate sometimes dramatic fate is given. After a general introduction to the world of stars, their state of hydrostatic and sometimes thermal equilibrium, as well as the energy transport processes are put in equations and detailed. Basic aspects of statistical physics allow us to consider in detail the degenerate condition of the electron gas in dense stellar interiors, which plays a key role in stellar evolution. Recalls of nuclear physics are made and followed by a study of the different thermonuclear reactions playing a role during a stellar "life". The main interaction processes between matter and radiation are also examined. A detailed analysis of self-gravitating polytropic gaseous spheres (simplified models of stars) leads us to the notions of limiting mass and mass-radius relation of white dwarfs, which significantly impact stellar evolution.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Knowledge and understanding of the physical conditions of stellar interiors. Link with the different domains of physics.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basic notions in fluid mechanics, quantum physics, statistical physics and thermodynamics.
This course has no co-required.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

The lectures are given first semester, 3h/week.
From the academic year 2016-2017, the lectures are given in English if there is at least one student attending the lectures who does not speak French. If all students speak French, the lectures are given in French.

Recommended or required readings

Detailed lecture notes are available to students as well as the powerpoint slides of the lectures.
The students can find them on my web site: http://www.astro.ulg.ac.be/~dupret

Any session :

- In-person

oral exam

- Remote

oral exam

- If evaluation in "hybrid"

preferred in-person

Additional information:

A list of possible questions covering the most important aspects of the course is provided (and commented) at the end of the semester. The student must answer one of them (drawn randomly) during the oral exam, he can choose to answer in English or French.
> Online oral exam (update 10/12/2020)

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


email: MA.Dupret@ulg.ac.be
address: Institut d'Astrophysique et Géophysique, bât. B5c, +1
Tél: 04 366 97 32

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

Structure et évolution des étoiles I powerpoint
Structure et évolution des étoiles I powerpoint

Structure et évolution des étoiles syllabus
Structure et évolution des étoiles syllabus parties I et II