Master’s studies

Syllabus for Astrophysical Tests of Physical Theories

Astrofysik - testverktyg för fysikens teorier


  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1FA227
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), 3, 4, 5
  • Established: 2011-03-10
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Revised: 2013-05-17
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 35, 2013
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits with quantum physics/quantum mechanics.
  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

After finishing the course the student should be able to

  • explain the properties of and difference between theories and models.
  • explain the properties of and difference between phenomena and observations.
  • explain how physicists use observations and models to constrain physical theories.
  • account for astrophysical observations that significantly advanced our understanding of fundamental physics.
  • critically evaluate the interplay of theory and observation in a specific astrophysical situation.
  • account for and present recent developments within astrophysics pertaining to the topic of the course.


Background: The epistemological (theory-of-knowledge) meaning of the terms theory, model, phenomena and observations and how they relate to one another. Examples from the history of science. Application: Wide-ranging astrophysical situations as examples of data sets that help to constrain our description of the physical reality: particles, forces, natural constant and their potential variability, the equation of state of matter under extreme conditions, dimensionality of space-time.


Lectures. Seminars and presentations on selected topics.


Active participation in class (1 credit). Passed hand-in lecture summaries (2 credits). Passed seminar and presentations (2 credits).

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 13, 2013