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, 30 August 2018
Responsible department
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

120 credits including 30 credits in mathematics and 60 credits in physics.

Learning outcomes

On completion of 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).

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.