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Computational Astrophysics



During this course you will learn how to do research with existing computational tools and simulation codes. This will be done by making use of the AMUSE software. You will learn how to perform astronomical simulations using the AMUSE framework. Students, in groups of two, will have the choice from various projects to work on for a number of weeks and in the end give a presentation of the work done and the project results. We use the AMUSE environment ( to perform a number of simulations to study astrophysical phenomena.

Topics: – AMUSE in general – Gravitational dynamics – Stellar evolution – Combinating stellar evolution with gravitational dynamics and solve both self consistently in one script. – Hydrodynamics – Combining hydrodynamics to gravitational dynamics and stellar evolution -Include sink particle for the black hole -Allow the radiative transfer code to heat/cool the gas -Python -Visualization -Algorithms -HPC/GPU -Parallel computing

Programme form

Lectures and practica.


  • AMUSE Documentation: see

  • AMUSE Syllabus: available at

  • “Introductory Python text”:

  • Advanced Python text


See Master schedules


Homework and exam


Calculus, experience with least one programming language, BSc physics or astronomy


Via uSis
More information about signing up for your classes at the Faculty of Science can be found here

More information

Lecturer: Prof.dr. S.F. (Simon) Portegies Zwart
Assistant: MSc Edwin van der Helm