Denmark, Odense

Physics – Galactic Dynamics and Dark Matter

when 5 August 2019 - 16 August 2019
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 5 EC

Come and join the summer course “Galactic Dynamics and Dark Matter” at SDU. During the last decades we have learned that by far most of the matter in the Universe is in terms of Dark Matter, a form of matter that is still completely unknown to us, but which has controlled the development and stability of structure such as galaxies in the Universe. A crucial piece of evidence for the presence of DM comes from the dynamics of galaxies. This intensive course will introduce you to galactic dynamics and the role played by dark matter. Our tools will be advanced classical mechanics including Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics. We will develop galactic models and analyze galactic data in order to test the DM hypothesis. We will further look at the dynamics of larger structures like galaxy clusters.

-Dark Matter
-Galactic formation, stability, evolution and cluster collisions.
-potential theory, orbit theory, collisonless Boltzmann equation, kinetic theory
-Jeans equations, disk stability, violent relaxation, phase mixing, dynamical friction

The course is run by Department of Physics Chemistry and Pharmacy. The research of the department covers a broad area, is interdisciplinary and includes the Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics, one of the biggest centers for theoretical high energy physics in Europe. The department offers high quality study programmes in phyiscs at both Bachelor and Master level. All courses on the Master level are offered in English.

Course leader

Mads Toudal Frandsen (

Target group

You are expected to have completed two years of a bachelor in physics.

Course aim

The aims of the course is to introduce the physics of collisionless gravitational many-body systems – stellar systems such as galaxies, dark matter halos and galaxy clusters. It covers potential theory, orbit theory,
collisonless Boltzmann equation, Jeans equations, disk stability, violent relaxation, phase mixing, dynamical friction and kinetic theory.

In relation to the competence profile of the degree it is the explicit focus of the course to:
-Give knowledge and understanding of basic concepts in Galactic dynamics and Dark Matter
-Present advanced applications of classical mechanics to central astrophysical systems like galaxies, dark halos and clusters of galaxies.
-Give skills to do analytical and numerical calculations in central parts of astrophysics and astroparticle physics.
-Prepare the student for doing research at the masters and phd level.

Fee info

EUR 0: Exchange students from a partner university pay no tuition. Guest students pay tuition fees.

NON-EU student: 8635 DKK per course (1160 Euro)

EU Students: 4250 DKK per course (570 Euro)

Exchange students from partner university: No tuition