CODE 
SSA5020 

TITLE 
Mathematical Astrophysics 

LEVEL 
05  Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course 

ECTS CREDITS 
5 

DEPARTMENT 
Institute of Space Sciences and Astronomy 

DESCRIPTION 
Students will be given an introduction to gravitational theory in terms of Einstein's theory of general relativity. This will include an exploration into the foundations of general relativity which will include tensor analysis and a derivation of the field equations.
Using this background simple solutions will be presented. The studyunit will close on an investigation of the standard tests followed by an introduction into neutron stars and their equations of state.
Studyunit Aims:
The main target of the studyunit is to give students an appreciation of the complexity of the standard theory of gravity. Ideally students will be able to make calculations for predictions of general relativity as well as a number of other theories of gravity. This means that the studyunit will have to work in cooperation with the Mathematics and Statistics for Astroinformatics studyunit. At the very least this studyunit will introduce students to the theoretical foundations of their project titles.
In practice the studyunit will provide a more holistic view of the physics side of astroinformatics. This will take advantage of the mathematics already covered in the programme while bridging the gap toward the expected knowledge outcomes.
Learning Outcomes:
1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the studyunit the student will:  Have a critical understanding of the general theory of relativity;  Have knowledge of the way general relativity is constructed, i.e. its derivation from basic principles;  Have knowledge of the standard tests of general relativity;  Know how to apply general relativity to gravitational systems;  Have a critical understanding how modified gravitational theories are constructed.
2. Skills:
By the end of the studyunit the student will be able to:  Demonstrate the ability to find standard solutions of general relativity;  Demonstrate the ability to make predictions using the theory;  Work out some elements of numerical relativity such as the gravitational wave emission of simple sources;  Work out the theoretical parts of numerical relativity projects.
Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:
 Relativity, Gravitation and Cosmology, Robert J. A. Lambourne (Cambridge University Press, 2010).  The State of the Universe, Pedro G. Ferreira, Phoenix.  Numerical Relativity: Solving Einstein's Equations on the Computer, Thomas W. Baumgarte, Stuart L. Shapiro (Cambridge University Press, 2010).


STUDYUNIT TYPE 
Lecture and Tutorial 

METHOD OF ASSESSMENT 
Assessment Component/s 
Resit Availability 
Weighting 
Project 
Yes 
20% 
Examination (2 Hours)

Yes 
80% 


LECTURER/S 
Jackson Said


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and StudyUnit information are complete and uptodate at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the studyunit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if studyunit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

19 October 2017
http://www.um.edu.mt/issa/studyunit