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), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2011-03-10
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2021-03-26
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2022
  • Entry requirements:

    120 credits with quantum physics/quantum mechanics. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

On completion of 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 theory-of-knowledge/philosophy-of-science 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 constants 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).

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 2022

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Johansson, Lars-Göran. Philosophy of Science for Scientists

    1st ed. 2016.: Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2016.

    Find in the library


Last modified: 2022-04-26