Master’s studies

Syllabus for Physics of Planetary Systems

Planetsystemens fysik


  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1FA226
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), 3, 4, 5
  • Established: 2010-03-18
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Revised: 2017-05-04
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2017
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits including 30 credits in mathematics and 60 credits in physics.
  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

After passing the course the student should be able to

  • identify and explain the physical processes that are thought to govern
    the formation of planetary systems in connection with star formation, and
    provide an outline of the structure and evolution of planets
  • identify and explain similarities and differences between our solar
    system and extrasolar planetary systems
  • explain the nature of the minor bodies in the solar system, their
    formation and evolution, and their mutual relationships
  • account for dynamical and collisional processes which affect planets and
    minor bodies, as well as how these processes govern the evolution of
    planetary systems
  • evaluate new developments in the research on our solar system as one of
    many in the Milky Way galaxy, including the observed properties of other
    planetary systems


Planetary interiors and atmospheres.  Detection and physical properties of extrasolar planetary systems.  The small bodies of the Solar System.  Plasmas and magnetic fields in the Solar System.  The dynamics of planetary systems.  The formation of planetary systems including the physics of accretion discs around protostars, and the physics and chemistry of the solar nebula.  Meteorites, and their testimony of the formation and evolution of the Solar System.


Lectures, seminars and problem sets.


Oral and written presentations of seminar topics (4 credits), oral and written
presentation of individual essay topic (4 credits), project work in groups and
subsequent report (2 credits).

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 30, 2017

The course literature consists of compendia, research articles and PowerPoint presentations that will be handed out during the course.

  • Lissauer, Jack Jonathan; De Pater, Imke Fundamental planetary science : physics, chemistry, and habitability

    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013

    Recommended for background information.

    Find in the library