Physics of Planetary Systems

10 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1FA226

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
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)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 18 March 2010
Responsible department
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

120 credits including 30 ECTS credits of mathematics and 60 ECTS credits of physics.

Learning outcomes

After passing the course the student should be able to

  • identify the physical and chemical processes that governs the structure and development of planets, satellites and ring systems
  • account for the importance of comparative studies within planetology
  • explain the small bodies in the solar system, their properties and how they interact with planets and moons
  • account for the formation of the solar system, including dynamical and collisional processes in the planetary system
  • evaluate the frontline research of our own solar system as one of many in the Milky Way galaxy, as well as the observed properties of other planetary systems


The dynamics of the planetary system. The formation of the solar system 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. The small bodies of the solar system. The physics of the planets and the moons. The satellite and ring systems of the giant planets. The atmospheres of planets. Magnetospheres and radiation belts and the interaction with the solar wind. Collisional processes in the planetary system. Other planetary systems and stellar discs.


Lectures, exercises and laboratory exercises.


Passed hand-in exercises, corresponding to 6 credits and laboratory exercises, corresponding to 4 credits.