Stockholm university logo, link to start page
Gå till denna sida på svenska webben

Astrophysical Radiation Processes

  • 7.5 credits

Radiation of all types from a variety of sources permeates all parts of the Universe and is one of the most fundamental messengers we have to understand the Universe. In this course, we will study the physical processes that give rise to the most common types of astrophysical radiation and how to use it to learn about the objects that emit it.

Information for admitted students Autumn 2020

Congratulations! You have been admitted at Stockholm University and we hope that you will enjoy your studies with us.

In order to ensure that your studies begin as smoothly as possible we have compiled a short checklist for the beginning of the semester.

Follow the instructions on wether you have to reply to your offer or not.


Checklist for admitted students

  1. Activate your university account

    The first step in being able to register and gain access to all the university's IT services.

  2. Register at your department

    Registration can be done in different ways. Read the instructions from your department below.

  3. Read all the information on this page

    Here you will find what you need to know before your course or programme starts.


Your seat may be withdrawn if you do not register according to the instructions provided by your department.

Information from the department - courses

Everyone admitted to a course at the Department of Astronomy will receive a welcome letter with important information via e-mail. If you have not receive the mail by the beginning of August, please contact our study advisor!


Courses at the Department of Astronomy do not have a roll-call. Instead the course starts with the first lecture.


After being admitted to a course, you must register to confirm that you are starting your studies. For most of our courses this can be done online using your university account. Registration normally opens two weeks before the course starts and you must have registered at the latest one week after the first lecture. If you have any problems with registration, contact our student office. Contact details can be found below.

Click here to register online.

Learning platform

All courses at our department use the Athena learning platform. Once registered, the course should appear automatically in Athena. If you cannot find the course, contact the course coordinator.

Conditionally admitted

If you are conditionally admitted to a course at our department you need to contact our study advisor before you can register. Contact us as soon as possible, well before the course starts. Contact details are found further down on this web page.

Applicants on waiting list

Are you placed on a waiting list to any of our courses? You will always be contacted by e-mail if you  are offered a place. Normaly we will not admit new students if more than 1 week has passed after the firsts lecture.

Find the Departmend of Astronomy

All our courses are held in the AlbaNova building, located between the Frescati campus and the Royal Institute of Technology (Tekniska högskolan, KTH).

Find AlbaNova.

Education during autumn 2020

Most courses at the Department of Astronomy which starts during the first period of the autumn semester will have lectures given online while practical elements (e.g., laboratory exercises) and examination take place on campus.

Click here to read more about the education during autumn 2020.

More specific deatalis regarding this course can be found in the schedule or on the course page in the Athena learning platform. If you have questions you can contact the course coordinator; contact details are found further down on this web page.

Welcome activities

Stockholm University organises a series of welcome activities that stretch over a few weeks at the beginning of each semester. The programme is voluntary (attendance is optional) and includes Arrival Service at the airport and an Orientation Day, see more details about these events below.
Your department may also organise activities for welcoming international students. More information will be provided by your specific department. 

Find your way on campus

Stockholm University's main campus is in the Frescati area, north of the city centre. While most of our departments and offices are located here, there are also campus areas in other parts of the city.

Find your way on campus

Read more

New student

During your studies

Student unions

For new international students

Pre-departure information

New in Sweden

Cloudlets swarm around SMBH
Cloudlets swarm around the Milky way galaxy's supermassive black hole , a source of synchrotron radiation. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/ J. R. Goicoechea (Instituto de Física Fundamental, CSIC, Spain)

In this course, you will learn in depth about the processes that emit radiation in our Universe.  This includes thermal emission from stars, and non-thermal emission, from supernova remnants and active galactic nuclei. Many of these processes are applications of quantum mechanics, electromagnetic theory, and special relativity, seeing these realized in astrophysical contexts will help you solidify this physics. Throughout the course we will have plenty of exercises and problems directly using what we learn to explain astrophysical observations.

  • Course structure

    The course is given during day time at the 50% level. It is part of the Master’s programme in Astronomy. The course is normally given in English.

    Teaching format

    The course includes video lectures, in-class exercises and group work, and laboratory assignments with an associated report.


    Examination is done in three main ways.

    1. During the course, weekly exercises are assigned and graded to give formative assessment to the students on their understanding.
    2. The laboratory section of the course involves passing in a written report on the laboratory assignment.
    3. A final written exam is used as a summative assessment of the content and knowledge of the learning outcomes of the course.




    Evan O’Connor

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Radiative Processes in Astrophysics  by George B. Rybicki and Alan P. Lightman,Wiley-VCH.

  • Contact

    The academic advisor and student office can be contacted via