at Heidelberg University --

  • Python Programming for Scientists
  • Module Outline

    This week-long intensive course is intended for students and researchers interested in learing Python for their daily computational needs. No prior programming experience is required. The course aims to provide a solid background in standard Pythonic methods used in scientific computing. Each day will be part lecture and part interactive programming. Topics include data structures, ways to read/write and visualise data, an introduction to Numerical and Scientific Python (NumPy and SciPy), and data fitting methods.

Courses taught in the academic years 2013-2014 at Queen Mary University --

MSc course:
  • Extrasolar Planets and Astrophysical Disks
  • Module Outline

    Ever since the dawn of civilization human beings have speculated about the existence of planets outside of the Solar System orbiting other stars. The first bona fide extrasolar planet orbiting an ordinary main sequence star was discovered in 1995, and subsequent planet searches have uncovered the existence of more than one hundred planetary systems in the Solar neighbourhood of our galaxy. These discoveries have reignited speculation and scientific study concerning the possibility of life existing outside of the Solar System. This course provides an in depth description of our current knowledge and understanding of these extrasolar planets. Their statistical and physical properties are described and contrasted with the planets in our Solar System. Our understanding of how planetary systems form in the discs of gas and dust observed to exist around young stars will be explored, and current scientific ideas about the origin of life will be discussed. Rotationally supported discs of gas (and dust) are not only important for explaining the formation of planetary systems, but also play an important role in a large number of astrophysical phenomena such as Cataclysmic Variables, X-ray binary systems, and active galactic nuclei. These so-called accretion discs provide the engine for some of the most energetic phenomena in the universe. The second half of this course will describe the observational evidence for accretion discs and current theories for accretion disc evolution.

SEFP courses:
  • Fields and Waves
  • Module Description and Aims

    To introduce the students to the physical concepts used in field and wave theory. This course covers the following topics: gravitational and electromagnetic fields; electromagnetic induction; oscillations and waves; sound waves; the wave nature of light; the electromagnetic spectrum; an introduction to astronomy.

  • Electricity and Atomic Physics
  • Module Description and Aims

    To introduce the students to the physical concepts used in electrical theory and atomic physics. This course covers the following topics: aspects of electrical theory (current and charge, resistance, capacitors, circuits and meters); atomic structure and properties of the electron; the nucleus, radioactive decay and nuclear energy; an introduction to quantum physics and cosmology.

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