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Galaxies: structure, dynamics and evolution



Galaxies are the basic building blocks of the universe, and we use them to trace the evolution of the universe. Fundamental processes such as star formation, recycling and enrichment of gas, formation of planets etc. all take place in galaxies. The course describes the structure of the galaxies, including dark matter, stars, and gas as well as the large scale structure in which galaxies are embedded. It discusses ongoing surveys of the nearby and distant universe. A special focus will be on the evolution of galaxies. The course builds on the bachelor lecture course “Galaxies and Cosmology” (Sterrenstelsels en Kosmologie), and assumes that the material in this course is known to the student. A very brief recapitulation will be given of the most important material.

Programme form

Lectures and assignments


The course is not based on any book in particular. Useful reference books concerning galaxies are: – ‘Galaxy Formation and Evolution’ by Houjun Mo, Frank van den Bosch, and Simon White, ISBN13: 978-0521857932’ – ‘Galactic Dynamics, Princeton Series in Astrophysics’ by James Binney and Scott Tremaine, ISBN13: 978-0-691-13027-9 – ‘Galactic Astronomy, Princeton Series in Astrophysics’ by James Binney and Michael Merrifield, ISBN13: 978-0-691-02565-0.
These books are of excellent quality, and deal with a lot of material in great detail. They will be useful throughout the career of an astronomer. However, their level is generally above that of the course, and they do not discuss large scale structure or galaxy evolution in much detail


Master Schedule 2013-2014

Form of examination

Homework and exam


BSc courses Galaxies and Cosmology (Sterrenstelsels en Kosmologie) and Radiative Processes (Stralingsprocessen)

More information

Lecturer: Dr. R.J. (Rychard) Bouwens
Assistent: [](>David Carton

Course Website)