Introduction to astrophysics

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The goal of the Course is to present an overview of several developments in modern astrophysics, with special emphasis on the role played by measurements and observations in the progress made. The course is taught by four scientists in a coordinated manner. After a general part, focused on the problem of dark matter, one part of the course is devoted to observations and concepts related to compact objects and black holes, a short part to the cosmological framework, and a final part devoted to measurements close to particle physics.
The main points of interest are raised by the following very general questions. What is the nature of research in astrophysics? What are the most important results of modern astrophysics? What is the connection between progress in astrophysics and progress in technology and instrumentation? The course "Introduction to Astrophysics" tries to give a first answer to these questions. The goal is to offer to the students the opportunity to get to know the approach and the mind framework of astrophysicists and, by means of key examples, an overview of several interesting lines of research in modern astrophysics.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student will master the following skills:

Will know the basic language, the main results obtained so far, and the most important technological and observational initiatives in relation to the key areas of astronomical research (optical, radio, x-rays, etc).
Will be able to formulate a dynamical model suited to identify and quantify the possible presence of dark matter in different contexts (in particular, spiral galaxies and clusters of galaxies).
Will be able to interpret and to model, broadly speaking, phenomena related to the presence of massive and supermassive black holes.
Will be able to evaluate, broadly speaking, the importance of the main areas of research in astroparticle physics (solar and extrasolar neutrinos, cosmic rays, gamma rays, the search of dark matter candidates).
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
The syllabus is shared with the following courses:
- [F63-43](
FIS/05 - ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours
Upon email appointment
Via Zoom teleconference
Monday 14.00-15.00 (upon appointment)
Teacher's office