FYS9525 – Advanced nuclear reactions and applications in astrophysics

Course content

This course will provide the students with an understanding of the main astrophysical processes to produce elements in the cosmos. In particular, the connection of nuclear physics data to astrophysical relevant cross sections will be covered, which includes hands-on experience with the state-of-the-art TALYS reaction code, to deepen the understanding of the interplay of nuclear physics and astrophysics.

Learning outcome

After completing this course:

  • You will have knowledge of how elements heavier than iron could be formed in astrophysical environments, especially the s-process, the r-process and the p-process.
  • you will have a detailed knowledge of the importance of nuclear structure physics and nuclear reactions underlying nuclear astrophysical processes.
  • you will have a detailed knowledge of the nuclear reactions models, such as the Hauser-Feshbach formalism, relevant to nuclear astrophysics.
  • you will be able to calculate nuclear cross-sections e.g. neutron capture cross-sections.
  • you will have hands-on training in running the state-of-of-the-art reaction code TALYS using both experimental and theoretical level densities and gamma strength functions as inputs.
  • you will have knowledge of experimental nuclear physics methods and techniques used for measuring nuclear properties for nuclear astrophysical processes.
  • you will have completed a challenging project using the TALYS code and written a report on this.


Send a short application to studieinfo@fys.uio.no. Only students enrolled in the Phd Program at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, may apply. This course should be a part of your theoretical curriculum. Contact the Department of Physics if you are unsure if you are eligible.


Recommended previous knowledge


The course will be given as an intensive course over two weeks with 30 hours of lectures and 30 hours of problem sessions and hands-on calculations using the TALYS code.
There will be a mandatory report, with a deadline several weeks after the intensive course.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


There will be a mandatory report on the TALYS calculations done during the course. Grading is based 100% on this report.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course




Every autumn

If the course is offered, a minimum of four students is required for ordinary lectures to take place. If less than four students participate, an exam will be given, but one should not expect ordinary teaching.

Program for the course


Every autumn

Teaching language