Courses: “Astrobiology and Astrobiophysics”
The Astrobiology and Astrobiophysics program consists of several lectures, seminars and tutorials grouped into three courses:
Lectures: Astrobiology and Astrobiophysics I - III
The Astrobiology and Astrobiophysics I and II lectures deal with the processes leading to the emergence of life as well as with those supporting and sustaining it, and with the integration of these processes into their environments. In addition to astrophysical and biological points of view, approaches from mathematics and information theory are also taken into account. The lectures extend over two semesters. In Astrobiology and Astrobiophysics I, subject matter ranging from biogenesis to intelligence and communication is presented. Astrobiology and Astrobiophysics II deals with the course of events extending from the origin of the cosmos to the formation of an environment suitable for life.
The Astrobiology and Astrobiophysics III lecture deals with manned missions and associated challenges posed to living organisms. The basics of radiation biophysics, effects of microgravity, and survival strategies for space missions are discussed.
The lectures are given by both astronomy and biophysics lecturers and mainly address Master’s and Bachelor’s students from physics and life sciences; of course, interested students from other faculties are also welcome.
Course: “Molecular Astrophysics: from Theory to Lab to Observations (WS 2016/17)” Teachers: Dr. Holger Kreckel (MPIK), Dr. Dmitry Semenov (MPIA)
This lecture course provides an introduction into molecular astrophysics. The detection of molecules in space is at the forefront of observational astronomy, which drives extensive laboratory and theoretical studies. Our understanding of the synthesis and destruction of molecules in the early Universe, star- and planet-forming environments, and exoplanetary atmospheres is interwoven with such questions as the origin of Earth’s water and the seeding of life by organic molecules. In our lectures we discuss key physical and chemical processes and molecular complexity representative of the early Universe, our galaxy, interstellar medium, planet-forming environments, and exoplanetary atmospheres. The lectures are given by the astronomy and physics lecturers and mainly address Master’s and Bachelor’s students from physics and life sciences; of course, interested students from other faculties are also welcome. The lecture materials are provided to students in PDF format and available for downloading from the MPG ownCloud platform.
Seminars and Tutorials
Each of the lectures is usually accompanied by a seminar in which the backgrounds of scientific research on selected topics from the respective lecture are presented by participants; additionally, open questions and alternative approaches are developed in discussions. In addition to the lectures, selected planetary systems and their habitable zones with possible life scenarios are discussed in interactive tutorials.