Syllabus for Celestial Mechanics

Celest mekanik


  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1FA207
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics G2F
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2007-03-15
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2020-01-21
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2020
  • Entry requirements:

    30 credits in mathematics and 60 credits in physics.

  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to

  • account for the basics of celestial mechanics
  • perform detailed calculations of the two-body problem
  • explain the basics within perturbation theory and the N-body problem
  • explain how the modern scientific research of celestial mechanics is performed


The two- and N-body problem. Calculations of position coordinates from orbital elements. Calculations of orbital elements from observational data. Numerical calculations of orbits. Evolution of orbits for asteroids and comets. The Lagrangian planetary equations. Basic rocket science.


Lectures, exercises, and student presentations.


Two hand-in exercises, 1.5 credits each. Oral and written presentation of individual study, 2 credits.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2020

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Davidsson, Björn J. R. Compendium in Fundamental Celestial Mechanics

    Institutionen för fysik och astronomi,


Last modified: 2022-04-26