University of Heidelberg

Computational Astrophysics (Studierendentage SS 2018)

Sommersemester, 2018

C.P. Dullemond


The goal of this crash course in computational astrophysics is to learn about several numerical methods to compute and/or model physical systems and solve a variety of problems. We apply these methods to problems from the field of astrophysics, because that is a particular fruitful area with many exciting examples. But many of the methods of this course will also be applicable to other areas of physics and science in general.


A tentative list of topics:

  • Modeling orbits of planets in a multi-planetary system using Runge-Kutta integration. Applied to: Exoplanetary systems such as TRAPPIST-1.
  • Fitting a model to observed data using Markov Chain Monte Carlo modeling. Applied to: Exoplanetary observational data.
  • Computing a spectrum of an accretion disk. Application: Either a black hole or a protoplanetary disk (your choice).
  • 1-D spherical gas dynamics model (numerical hydrodynamics) of a collapsing molecular cloud. Applied to: The formation of a star.


  • Basic knowledge of Python programming, including handling numpy arrays and plotting with matplotlib
  • Bring your own laptop with Python 2.7 or Python 3 installed, including the following libraries installed:
    • numpy
    • scipy
    • matplotlib

Course material


Anmeldung erfolgt auf dem Übungsgruppensystem:

StudierendenTage SS 2018 in der Gruppe E.

Monday April 9 to Friday April 13 (5 days) from 9:15 to 12:00

Location: INF 227, SR 2.402

Responsible: Cornelis Petrus Dullemond, last modification Apr/12/2018 01:34 CEST
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