PHYS3003 Astrophysics and Space Science

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the Physics major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Mathematical and Physical Sciences
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
The content of this unit includes the physical principles underlying radiation mechanisms, planetary astronomy, stellar birth and evolution, astronomy techniques, neutron stars and supernovae, optical telescope projects and computer modelling laboratories. The content is explored with reference to a range of applications and physical contexts, and developed and applied through laboratory and computer projects. Skills in problem identification, mathematical exploration and solution are fostered through assignment sheets and tutorial activities.
Students are able to (1) develop understanding of the physical principles underlying space electrodynamics, planetary astronomy, stellar astrophysics and astronomical techniques and modelling; (2) apply and further develop critical thinking skills in a range of realistic physical situations; (3) use appropriate mathematical techniques; (4) develop and apply problem identification and mathematical solution skills in a range of realistic physical situations; (5) develop understanding of the physical principles of measurement, experimental technique, quantitative analysis and data analysis relevant to astronomy and astrophysics; and (6) develop communication skills relevant to the discipline of physics.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignment; (2) laboratory; and (3) tests and examinations. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the laboratory component.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Matthew Young
Unit rules
PHYS2001 Quantum Physics and Electromagnetism (formerly Quantum Mechanics 1 and Electromagnetism)
(MATH1002 Mathematical Methods 2
(MATH1011 Multivariable Calculus
MATH1012 Mathematical Theory and Methods)
Contact hours
lectures: average 3 hours per week; practical classes: 1 hour per week; project/lab work: 24 hours per semester
Semester two enrolment is available only under special circumstances. Please contact the unit coordinator.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.