Nuclear Astrophysics

By Prof. Anil Kumar Gourishetty   |   IIT Roorkee
Learners enrolled: 2215
Nuclear astrophysics is the union of nuclear physics and astronomy. The purpose of the course is to introduce the emerging field of nuclear astrophysics; a discipline that can identify new observational signatures probing our universe. This discipline has proved to have the potential to categorize the conditions at the core of stars and provide information of energy production from stars, nucleosynthesis and stellar evolution. New initiatives in this domain include the development of experimental facilities (Ex: FRENA in SINP Kolkata), that open new landscapes into the nuclear processes that take place at low energies during the evolutionary phases of stars and in explosive events in galaxies.

INTENDED AUDIENCE :Physics, Engineering Physics

PRE-REQUISITE :Nuclear Physics (basic) 

INDUSTRY SUPPORT :Companies involved in manufacturing of radiation detectors, pulse processing modules, photo sensors, target materials for nuclear reactions, data acquisition systems:Electronic Enterprises (India) Private Limited; Saint Gobain crystals and detector; CAEN; Hamamatsu Photonics; ORTEC; Nucleonix Systems Pvt. India Ltd.
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 8 weeks
Category :
  • Physics
Credit Points : 2
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 20 Feb 2023
End Date : 14 Apr 2023
Enrollment Ends : 20 Feb 2023
Exam Registration Ends : 17 Mar 2023
Exam Date : 29 Apr 2023 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1:Selected features of astronomy ‘observing the universe’ and of astrophysics ‘explaining the universe’
Week 2:General characteristics of thermonuclear reactions, sources of nuclear energy, Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution
Week 3:Cross section, stellar reaction rates, mean lifetime; astrophysical s – factor, abundance evolution
Week 4:Neutron and charged particle induced non-resonant reactions, reactions through narrow and broad resonances
Week 5:p-p chain, CNO, NeNa and MgAl cycles
Week 6:Creation and survival of 12C, Nucleosynthesis beyond iron peak (s – process, r – process, p – process)
Week 7:General aspects of experiments: Accelerators for beams of charged particles, neutrons and gamma rays, detectors, target materials, electronic pulse processing modules
Week 8:Experimental methods to study nuclear astrophysics: Activity method, Coulomb dissociation, Trojan Horse and ANC methods; radioactive ion beams

Books and references

1.Christian Iliadis, “Nuclear Physics of Stars”, 2007, Wiley.
2.Claus E Rolfs and William S Rodney, “Cauldrons in the Cosmos: Nuclear Astrophysics”, 2005, University of Chicago Press.
3.D D Clayton, “Principles of Stellar Evolution and Nucleosynthesis”, 1984, University of Chicago Press.

Instructor bio

Prof. Anil Kumar Gourishetty

IIT Roorkee
Prof. Anil Kumar Gourishetty is passionate about teaching at various levels of students. I have been shortlisted in top 15 at institute level (UG category) for outstanding teacher award in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The students strength was in the range of 30 to 180. The maximum faculty score I had obtained from a batch of the students was 4.57 out of 5. At IIT Roorkee, I have taught Nuclear Astrophysics (2 times), and Nuclear Physics and Applications (2 times) and Reactor Physics (2 times) which are related to the proposed course. As one of my research areas is Nuclear Astrophysics, I enjoy in teaching this course, which would be interest of many students who wants to know the role of nuclear physics in understanding the stellar evolution and synthesis of elements.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 
29 April 2023 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Roorkee. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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