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These pages contain a description of the course on "Mathematical Modelling of Solar Spectrum Formation" as taught in intensive form at KU Leuven in Spring 2023. The materials of the course follow the Rob Rutten's "Radiative Transfer in Stellar Atmospheres", hence the acronym RTSA.


  • Three weeks of intensive teaching, each with six hours of lectures and four hours of tutorials
  • See separate page for syllabus and literature
  • The course's github repository will contain all project notebooks, and will be populated with additional resources as the semester progresses


The final grade is determined by an assessment of three projects. The following table lists deadlines for handing in each project, how much each project weighs in the final grade, and the topic of each project. More details can be found under projects.

Deadline Weight Topic
Project A 31 Mar 30% Basic line formation
Project B 5 May 35% LTE line formation
Project C 2 Jun 35% Non-LTE line formation

Required software and tools

This course will have a strong computational component. Computations are not the end goal, but they will be an important tool to understand the topics we will cover. Research in astrophysics is becoming more and more computational; the course will equip students with the strategies and skills to deal with modern astrophysical problems.

Students are expected to have their own laptops, and bring them to classes (including lectures!).

The projects are in the Python programming language in Jupyter notebook format. More details about the software and computing environment can be found in software and tools.