Frontiers of Astrophysics
2016 spring semester



Responsible teacher: Zhuo Li (黎卓) (Rm 108, KIAA bldg;; phone 62754891).

Time: 8:00-9:50am, Friday.

Place: Rm 2907, Dept of Astronomy, No. 2 Science Building (理科2号楼92907).



Course description

This course aims at the beginners, senior undergraduates and first-year postgraduates, who have little experience in astrophysics research. The class consists of a series of lectures covering many active fields in astrophysics. Each week there will be one focused topic, presented by one of KIAA and DoA faculty, or astronomers from the other institutes. The in-class teaching leaves a significant fraction of time for free discussions and for questions from students. At the end of the course, the students are expected to grasp the general ideas and status of the advanced topics in modern astrophysics.







Feb 26

Kejia Lee

Pulsar timing and gravitational wave

March 4

Subo Dong

Exoplanet discoveries


Luis Ho

The origin of the Hubble sequence of galaxies


Richard de Grijs

Stellar populations in nearby massive star clusters


Jie Wang (NAOC)

Computational cosmology

April 1

Jifeng Liu (NAOC)

Stellar-mass black holes


Yingjie Peng

The evolution of the galaxy population


Zhuo Li

High energy neutrino astronomy



PKU sports meeting


Gregory Herczeg

Star and planet formation

May 6

Dong Xu (NAOC)    

Gamma-ray burst observation


Jianning Fu (BNU)

Internal structures of white dwarf with asteroseismology


Ran Wang

Millimeter and radio study of high redshift quasars


Stephen Justham (NAOC)

Supernova progenitors

June 3

Houjun Mo (UMass/THU)

Galaxy formation in the cold dark matter paradigm


Gongbo Zhao (NAOC)

Cosmology with large galaxy redshift surveys










For graduates:

The lectures are divided into five groups as below. Write one report for one lecture selected from each group. The length of the report is no less than 1 page but no more than 2 pages, with 12pt/小四 size. The submissions are due on the next Tuesday of the selected lecture, and please submit in the class. The reports should summarize the basic points known, the open questions and possible methods/ways to solve them.

1. Planets/stars: 3/4, 3/18, 4/29

2. Galaxies: 3/11, 4/8, 5/20

3. Cosmology: 3/25, 6/3, 6/10

4. Compact objects: 2/26, 4/1, 5/13

5. High energy: 4/15, 5/6, 5/27


For undergraduates:

Write two reports according to two lectures you select, one is from the first half of the lecture series and another from the second half. The due time for the first one is 29 April; the second is 17 June, the date of the final exam. Summarize what you learn from the lecture and what and why interest you. The length of one report is about 2 pages with 12pt/小四 size.




The final grade for this course will be determined roughly as the following.

For graduates:
Homework: 75% - About five written reports; finish on time as request.
Participation: 25% - Attend and participate; be active in question time.

For undergraduates:
Homework: 30%
Participation: 20% - Ask 5 questions in the whole semester to get full score.
Exam: 50%