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1. Course title

Radiative Transfer
Radiative Transfer

2. Course code


Aikaisemmat leikkaavat opintojaksot 53852 Säteilynkuljetus, 5 op

3. Course status: optional

-Which degree programme is responsible for the course?
Master’s Programme in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences        

-Which module does the course belong to?
PAP300 Advanced Studies in Particle Physics and Astrophysical Sciences (optional for Study Track in Astrophysical Sciences)

-Is the course available to students from other degree programmes?

4. Course level (first-, second-, third-cycle/EQF levels 6, 7 and 8)

Master’s level, degree programmes in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine = secondcycle
degree/EQF level 7
Doctoral level = third-cycle (doctoral) degree/EQF level 8

-Does the course belong to basic, intermediate or advanced studies (cf. Government Decree
on University Degrees)?
Advanced studies

5. Recommended time/stage of studies for completion

The course does not depend on other master level courses and can be taken in the first or the second year (course is lectured only every other year).

6. Term/teaching period when the course will be offered

The course will be offered in the autumn term, in I period. The course is lectured every other year.

7. Scope of the course in credits

5 cr

8. Teacher coordinating the course

Mika Juvela

9. Course learning outcomes

You will learn how the microphysical properties of the medium are linked to the macroscopic radiative transport of energy. You will understand the common approximations used in the radiative transfer analysis of astronomical data. You will know the implementation principles of programs that are used in astronomical radiative transfer modelling. You will able to use available programs to model observations of dust and line emission.

10. Course completion methods

Exercises and final project work. Part of the exercises consists of programming tasks. The final project can consist either of the implementation of a simple radiative transfer program or the use of an existing programs to model an astronomical object.

11. Prerequisites

Mathematics for physicists I-II. Basic programming skills are needed, in the language of your choice.

12. Recommended optional studies


13. Course content

  • Radiative transfer equation
  • The local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) and large velocity gradient (LVG) approximations
  • The escape probability formalism
  • Radiative transfer for dust continuum
  • Radiative transfer for line emission
  • Monte Carlo radiative transfer
  • Improvements of the basic Monte Carlo scheme
  • Radiative transfer on parallel machines
  • Programs available for radiative transfer modelling

14. Recommended and required literature

Lecture notes

Supplementary reading:

  • Rybicki & Lightman: Radiative processes in Astrophysics
  • Selected research papers (links will be provided on the course website)

15. Activities and teaching methods in support of learning

Weekly lectures and exercises (individual work) and a final project (individual). Total hours 130.


16. Assessment practices and criteria, grading scale

Final grade is based on the exercises (50%) and the final programming project (50%).

17. Teaching language


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