Lecture: For nonscience majors. Introductory survey of astronomy. How we learn about the Universe and what we already know of it, how it originated, evolves, and its ultimate fate. Emphasis on modern research in solar phenomena, stellar evolution (including white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes) and galaxy studies (including quasars). Lab: Multiple sections. For nonscience students. Introduction to the night sky, telescopes, astronomical events, and celestial maps. Visual and telescopic observations of the constellations, moon, planets, stars, an d other interesting astronomical objects. Gen.Ed.(PS)
Lecture: For nonscience majors. Introductory survey of astronomy. How we learn about the Universe and what we already know of it, how it originated, evolves, and its ultimate fate. Emphasis on modern research in solar phenomena, stellar evolution (including white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes) and galaxy studies (including quasars). Lab: Multiple sections. For nonscience students. Introduction to the night sky, telescopes, astronomical events, and celestial maps. Visual and telescopic observations of the constellations, moon, planets, stars, an d other interesting astronomical objects. Gen.Ed.(PS)
Basic weather parameters, light and energy in the atmosphere. Topics include: atmospheric gases and their behavior; instability of the atmosphere; winds and their origin: large scale, small scale. Moisture: evaporation, condensation, clouds. Kinds of precipitation. Storms: hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes. Atmospheric optics: rainbows, halos, mirages. Climate and climate change. (Gen.Ed. PS)
Weekly class exploring the field of astronomy and its practice. Meetings may include observing sessions, projects with University telescopes, laboratory activities, and introductions to the latest topics of astronomical research. Intended primarily for first-year students considering an astronomy major or minor, but open to all undergraduates on a space-available basis.
Satisfies Junior Year Writing Requirement. The goal of this course is to teach the writing techniques and styles that are appropriate for the types of careers that might be pursued by an astronomy major. The course will be composed of both a set of short writing assignments and longer assignments, and some of these assignments will be orally presented to the class. All students will critique the talks, and some written assignments will be exchanged between students for peer editing and feedback. Some papers will require analysis of astrophysical data. Prerequisites: Completion of 200-level or higher astronomy class, ENGLWRIT 112 or 113, and at least the first two semesters of the first year physics sequence.
This is a course in applied physics with the ultimate goal of describing how stars work. Topics include gravitation, stellar mass determination, stellar structure, stellar atmospheres, stellar evolution, and the physics of pulsating stars. We will approach each of these topics from fundamental concepts and we will work our way to a detailed understanding. On the way we will review the structure of the atom, radiative processes, and some basic principles of thermodynamics.
Structure, formation, and evolution of galaxies. Stellar/gas content, kinematics, spiral structure, chemical evolution, galactic nuclei, missing mass in galaxies and clusters, galaxy collisions, determination of the Hubble constant, large-scale structure, and motions in the universe.
Basic numerical methods: linear algebra, interpolation and extrapolation, integration, root finding, extremization and differential equations. Introduction to Monte Carlo techniques used to simulate processes that occur in nature and methods to simulate experiments that measure these processes including random number generators, sampling techniques, and multidimensional simulation. Methods for extracting information from experiments such as experimental measurements and uncertainties, confidence intervals, parameter estimation, likelihood methods, least squares method, hypothesis tests, and goodness of fit tests. Chaotic dynamics and other special topics as time permits.