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Computational Astrophysics


Admission requirements

Calculus, experience with least one programming language, BSc Physics or Astronomy.


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.


  • AMUSE in general

  • Gravitational dynamics

  • Stellar evolution

  • Hydrodynamics

  • Code coupling strategies

  • Python

  • Visualization

  • Algorithms

Course objectives

Be able to judge, select and adapt the proper numerical tools for conducting your own research.


See MSc schedules

Mode of instruction

Lectures and practica.

Assessment method

Homework and exam.



Reading list


Via uSis
More information about signing up for your classes at the Faculty of Science can be found here
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Lecturer: Prof.dr. S.F. (Simon) Portegies Zwart
Assistants: Edwin van der Helm, MSc / Clément Bonnerot, MSc


Admission is decided on the first day of the course by means of an exam.