Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Computational Methods for the Interaction of Light and Matter (Master/PhD Course)

Teachers: G. Kanschat and C.P. Dullemond


The interaction of radiation and matter is all around us. It determines the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere, it transports heat from a fireplace into your home, it determines the spectrum of the Sun etc. In astrophysics the role of radiation is even more prominent than on Earth, and the interaction of radiation with matter is one of the cornerstones of astronomy. Any radiation we receive from an astrophysical object has been processed by that object through radiative transfer. Therefore, in order to interpret observations in terms of the geometry, temperature, dynamics and composition of that object, we must be able to calculate how this radiative transfer process works.

Unfortunately, radiative transfer can be rather complicated, both physically as well as technically. There are only very few analytic solutions, and these are usually for very idealized situations.

In practice these calculations have to be done on a computer. In this lecture we will discuss the computational techniques available to carry out these calculations. This lecture will focus not only on the applications, but also very much on the mathematical techniques behind the codes.

The lecture will therefore be given by two teachers: one from the department of mathematics (Prof. Guido Kanschat), and one from the department of physics and astronomy (Prof. Cornelis Dullemond).

A particular emphasis will be on hands-on exercises on a computer. You will need a laptop. Details will be discussed during the lecture.


This course will be given in English. It consists of 4 hours per week of lecture and exercises.


You can find the course material on Moodle via The key to sign up is starsarehot.

Time and venue

The lecture takes place twice a week:

  • Wednesday, 11:15-13:00, Seminarraum C, Mathematikon, INF 205
  • Friday, 12:15-14:00, Seminarraum B, Mathematikon, INF 205

Verantwortlich: Cornelis Petrus Dullemond, letzte Änderung am 16.10.2019 17:25 CEST
zum Seitenanfang