Astronomy Graduate Courses • 2017


Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology - C161

Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology

C161

CCN: 22679

Instructor: Martin White

Elements of general relativity. Physics of pulsars, cosmic rays, black holes. The cosmological distance scale, elementary cosmological models, properties of galaxies and quasars. The mass density and age of the universe. Evidence for dark matter and dark energy and concepts of the early universe and of galaxy formation. Reflections on astrophysics as a probe of the extrema of physics.

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Planetary Science Seminar - C292, section 001

Planetary Science Seminar

C292, section 001

CCN: 22716

Instructor: Burkhard Militzer

The departments of Astronomy and Earth and Planetary Science offer a joint research seminar in advanced topics in planetary science, featuring speakers drawn from graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty, and visiting scholars. Topics will span planetary interiors; surface morphology; atmospheres; dynamics; planet formation; and astrobiology. Speakers will vary from semester to semester. Meetings will be held once a week for 1 hour each, and the schedule of speakers will be determined on the first day of class. To pass the class, participants will be required to give a 30-minute presentation, either on their own research or on …

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Introduction to Modern Cosmology - Astro 3

Introduction to Modern Cosmology

Astro 3

CCN: 05903

Instructor: Leo Blitz

Description of research and results in modern extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. We read the stories of discoveries of the principles of our Universe. Simple algebra is used.

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Introduction to Astrophysics - Astro 7A

Introduction to Astrophysics

Astro 7A

CCN: 05903

Instructor: Mariska Kriek

 This is the first part of an overview of astrophysics, with an emphasis on the way in which physics is applied to astronomy. This course deals with the solar system and stars, while 7B covers galaxies and cosmology. Solar system topics include orbital mechanics, geology of terrestrial planets, planetary atmospheres, and the formation of the solar system. The study of stars will treat determination of observations, properties and stellar structure, and evolution. The physics in this course includes mechanics and gravitation; kinetic theory of gases; properties of radiation and radiative energy transport; quantum mechanics of photons, …

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Introduction to Astrophysics - Astro 7B

Introduction to Astrophysics

Astro 7B

CCN: 05906

Instructor: Eugene Chiang

This is the second part of an overview of astrophysics, which begins with 7A. This course covers the Milky Way galaxy, star formation and the interstellar medium, galaxies, black holes, quasars, dark matter, the expansion of the universe and its large-scale structure, and cosmology and the Big Bang. The physics in this course includes that used in 7A (mechanics and gravitation; kinetic theory of gases; properties of radiation and radiative energy transport; quantum mechanics of photons, atoms, and electrons; and magnetic fields) and adds the special and general theories of relativity.

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Introduction to General Astronomy - Astro 10

Introduction to General Astronomy

Astro 10

CCN: 05912

Instructor: Leo Blitz

A description of modern astronomy with emphasis on the structure and evolution of stars, galaxies, and the Universe. Additional topics optionally discussed include quasars, pulsars, black holes, and extraterrestrial communication, etc. Individual instructor's synopses available from the department.

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Introduction to General Astronomy - Astronomy C10

Introduction to General Astronomy

Astronomy C10

Letters and Science C70U

CCN: 05915

Instructor: Alex Filippenko

 A description of modern astronomy with emphasis on the structure and evolution of stars, galaxies, and the Universe. Additional topics optionally discussed include quasars, pulsars, black holes, and extraterrestrial communication, etc. Individual instructor's synopses available from the department.

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Introduction to General Astronomy - Astro 10

Introduction to General Astronomy

Astro 10

CCN: 05915

Instructor: Leo Blitz

A description of modern astronomy with emphasis on the structure and evolution of stars, galaxies, and the Universe. Additional topics optionally discussed include quasars, pulsars, black holes, and extraterrestrial communication, etc. Individual instructor's synopses available from the department. 

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The Planets - Astro C12

The Planets

Astro C12

EPS C12, L&S C70T

CCN: 05936

Instructor: The Staff

A tour of the mysteries and inner workings of our solar system. What are planets made of? Why do they orbit the sun the way they do? How do planets form, and what are they made of? Why do some bizarre moons have oceans, volcanoes, and ice floes? What makes the Earth hospitable for life? Is the Earth a common type of planet or some cosmic quirk? This course will introduce basic physics, chemistry, and math to understand planets, moons, rings, comets, asteroids, atmospheres, and oceans. Understanding other worlds will help us save our own planet and help us understand our place in the universe. 

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Sophomore Seminar: The Nature of Space and Time - Astro 84

Sophomore Seminar: The Nature of Space and Time

Astro 84

CCN: 05990

Instructor: Alex Filippenko

Sophomore seminars are small interactive courses offered by faculty members in departments all across the campus. Sophomore seminars offer opportunity for close, regular intellectual contact between faculty members and students in the crucial second year. The topics vary from department to department and semester to semester. Enrollment limited to 15 sophomores. 

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Freshman Seminars - Astro 24

Freshman Seminars

Astro 24

CCN: 05995

Instructor: The Staff

The Berkeley Seminar Program has been designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member in a small-seminar setting. Berkeley Seminars are offered in all campus departments, and topics vary from department to department and semester to semester.

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Radio Astronomy Laboratory - Astro 121

Radio Astronomy Laboratory

Astro 121

CCN: 06014

Instructor: Carl Heiles

Several basic laboratory experiments that concentrate on microwave electronics and techniques; construction of receiving, observing, and data analysis systems for two radioastronomical telescopes, a single-dish 21-cm line system and a 12-GHz interferometer; use of these telescopes for astronomical observing projects including structure of the Milky Way galaxy, precise position measurement of several radio sources, and measurement of the radio brightness distributions of the sun and moon with high angular resolution. There is a heavy emphasis on digital data acquisition, software development in the IDL language, and high-quality written …

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Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology - Astro C161

Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology

Astro C161

Physics C161

CCN: 06017

Instructor: Chung-Pei Ma

Elements of general relativity. Physics of pulsars, cosmic rays, black holes. The cosmological distance scale, elementary cosmological models, properties of galaxies and quasars. The mass density and age of the universe. Evidence for dark matter and dark energy and concepts of the early universe and of galaxy formation. Reflections on astrophysics as a probe of the extrema of physics.

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Optical and Infrared Astronomy Laboratory - Astro 120

Optical and Infrared Astronomy Laboratory

Astro 120

CCN: 06017

Instructor: James Graham

This course requires four to six experiments such as the following: accurate position and brightness measurements of stars; laboratory exploration of the characteristics of two-dimensional charge-coupled devices (CCDs) and infrared detectors; measurement of the distance, reddening, and age of a star cluster; measurement of the Stokes parameters and linear polarization of diffuse synchrotron and reflection nebulae; measurement of the period and pulse shape of the Crab pulsar using Fourier techniques. Professional telescopes will be used such as those at Leuschner Observatory and Lick Observatory. There is a emphasis on error analysis, …

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Stellar Physics - Astro 160

Stellar Physics

Astro 160

CCN: 06020

Instructor: Eliot Quataert

Topics covered include some, but not necessarily all, of the following. Observational constraints on the properties and evolution of stars. Theory of stellar structure and evolution. Stellar atmospheres and stellar spectroscopy. Stellar nucleosynthesis. Supernovae. Degeneracy of matter and structure of collapsed stars. Elements of gas dynamics, accretion onto compact objects, and x-ray sources. Dynamics and evolution of close binary systems. Stellar pulsation. 

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Stellar Dynamics and Galactic Structure - Astro 218

Stellar Dynamics and Galactic Structure

Astro 218

CCN: 06049

Instructor: Mariska Kriek

A basic course: Structure and kinematics of the galaxy; stellar population concepts; dynamics of stellar systems with and without encounters.

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Interstellar Matter - Astro 216

Interstellar Matter

Astro 216

CCN: 06053

Instructor: James Graham

A survey of the observational data and theoretical ideas on the interstellar medium, with emphasis on the inferred physical conditions.

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Introduction to High Performance Computing (HPC) for Astrophysicists - Astro 250

Introduction to High Performance Computing (HPC) for Astrophysicists

Astro 250

CCN: 06056

Instructor: Peter Nugent

This course will provide an introduction to Unix targeting shell scripting, makefiles, compilers, revision control systems, etc., and the working environment on an HPC system at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Students will be given accounts at NERSC in order to gain experience running a variety of current parallel codes in astrophysics and handling both the resultant large data sets generated by these simulations as well as observational data sets through NERSC's Science Gateway Nodes.

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Ethical Issues in Astronomy Education, Research and Enterprise - Asro 250

Ethical Issues in Astronomy Education, Research and Enterprise

Asro 250

CCN: 06058

Instructor: Paul Kalas

Astronomers encounter a series of ethical dilemmas during their careers that need to be resolved correctly if the integrity of the field is to be preserved. The goal of this graduate seminar is to sharpen ethical reasoning, knowledge, awareness and commitment by providing a fundamental background in responsible conduct as a scientist. Topics covered: Research Misconduct, Data management, Peer review, Authorship, Intellectual property, Conflicts of interest and commitment, Mentoring, Dual use technologies, Environmental and Cultural Impact.

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Computational Methods in Theoretical Astrophysics - Astro 255

Computational Methods in Theoretical Astrophysics

Astro 255

CCN: 06058

Instructor: Richard Klein

A broad in-depth survey of state-of-the-art numerical approaches to astrophysical self-gravitational gas dynamics with application to large scale simulation of coupled non-linear astrophysical flows. Finite-difference approaches for Lagrangian and Eulerian astrophysical hydrodynamics and coupled radiation-hydrodynamics. N-body gravitation techniques including direct N-body, P-M, P3M, and hierarchical Tree. Particle gas dynamics methods such as smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH), adaptive SPH and unification of SPH, and gravity tree hierarchies (TREE-SPH). Advanced techniques such as higher order Godunov finite difference methods …

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Introduction to Current Research - Astro 290B

Introduction to Current Research

Astro 290B

CCN: 06062

Instructor: Eugene Chiang

Continuation of 290A. Study of a research topic with an individual staff member.

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Introduction to Current Research - Astro 290B

Introduction to Current Research

Astro 290B

CCN: 06065

Instructor: Imke de Pater

Continuation of 290A. Study of a research topic with an individual staff member.

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Stellar Structure and Evolution - Astro 252

Stellar Structure and Evolution

Astro 252

CCN: 06070

Instructor: Eliot Quataert

Equations of stellar structure, radiative transfer and convection, thermonuclear reactions and stellar energy generations; stellar models, degenerate configurations, evolutionary sequences, supernovae, neutron stars, black holes, nucleosynthesis.

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Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics - Astro C202

Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics

Astro C202

Physics C202

CCN: 06088

Instructor: Chung-Pei Ma

Principles of gas dynamics, self-gravitating fluids, magnetohydrodynamics and elementary kinetic theory. Aspects of convection, fluid oscillations, linear instabilities, spiral density waves, shock waves, turbulence, accretion disks, stellar winds, and jets. 

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Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology - Astro C228

Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology

Astro C228

Physics C228

CCN: 06092

Instructor: Martin White

A survey of physical cosmology - the study of the origin, evolution, and fate of the universe. Topics include the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker model, thermal history and big bang nucleosynthesis, evidence and nature of dark matter and dark energy, the formation and growth of galaxies and large scale structure, the anisotropy of the cosmic microwave radiation, inflation in the early universe, tests of cosmological models, and current research areas. The course complements the material of Astronomy 218. 

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Introduction to Current Research - Astro 290A

Introduction to Current Research

Astro 290A

CCN: 06101

Instructor: Imke de Pater

Survey of research currently being performed in the Department or the University. 

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Selected Topics in Astronomy - Astro 9

Selected Topics in Astronomy

Astro 9

Summer 6W2

CCN: 10978

Instructor: Steven Beckwith

This seminar will explore one of a variety of subjects in greater depth than in introductory courses. Possible topics include stars, galaxies, the solar system, the interstellar medium, relativity and cosmology, history of astronomy, observational astronomy, and life in the universe. To Register: http://classes.berkeley.edu/content/2017-summer-astron-9-001-lec-001

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Introduction to General Astronomy - Astro 10

Introduction to General Astronomy

Astro 10

Summer 6W1

CCN: 10979

Instructor: Gaspard Duchene

A description of modern astronomy with emphasis on the structure and evolution of stars, galaxies, and the Universe. Additional topics optionally discussed include quasars, pulsars, black holes, and extraterrestrial communication, etc. Individual instructor's synopses available from the department. To Register: http://classes.berkeley.edu/content/2017-summer-astron-10-001-lec-001

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Introduction to General Astronomy - Astro 10

Introduction to General Astronomy

Astro 10

Summer 6W2

CCN: 10980

Instructor: Bryan Mendez

A description of modern astronomy with emphasis on the structure and evolution of stars, galaxies, and the Universe. Additional topics optionally discussed include quasars, pulsars, black holes, and extraterrestrial communication, etc. Individual instructor's synopses available from the department. To Register: http://classes.berkeley.edu/content/2017-summer-astron-10-002-lec-002

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Sophomore Seminar - Astro 84, section 1

Sophomore Seminar

Astro 84, section 1

CCN: 12949

Instructor: Steven Beckwith

This seminar discusses the physics of Black Holes, the evidence for their existence, and some of the interesting implications that black holes pose for the universe. Using Kip Thorne's book, "Black Holes and Time Warps; Einstein's Outrageous Legacy," we will delve into the ordinary predications about black holes–space-time curvature, time dilation, the dangers of getting too close, the central singularities, frame dragging–as well as some of the more exotic ideas like black hole evaporation and even wormholes. Although the concepts in this course are not intuitive for most students, they can be understood by …

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CIPS Planet & Star Formation (PSF) Seminar -

CIPS Planet & Star Formation (PSF) Seminar

CCN: 13082

Instructor: Imke de Pater

The departments of Astronomy and Earth and Planetary Science offer a joint research seminar in advanced topics in planetary science, featuring speakers drawn from graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty, and visiting scholars. Topics will span planetary interiors; surface morphology; atmospheres; dynamics; planet formation; and astrobiology. Speakers will vary from semester to semester. Meetings will be held once a week for 1 hour each, and the schedule of speakers will be determined on the first day of class. To pass the class, participants will be required to give a 30-minute presentation, either on their own research or on …

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Theoretical Astrophysics Seminar - Astro C285

Theoretical Astrophysics Seminar

Astro C285

CCN: 13084

Instructor: Eliot Quataert

The study of theoretical astrophysics.

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Cosmology Seminar - Astro C290C

Cosmology Seminar

Astro C290C

CCN: 13088

Instructor: Martin White

Weekly seminar on research in cosmology, typically featuring outside speakers.

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Introduction to Astrophysics - Astro 7B

Introduction to Astrophysics

Astro 7B

CCN: 13147

Instructor: Eugene Chiang

This is the second part of an overview of astrophysics, which begins with 7A. This course covers the Milky Way galaxy, star formation and the interstellar medium, galaxies, black holes, quasars, dark matter, the expansion of the universe and its large-scale structure, and cosmology and the Big Bang. The physics in this course includes that used in 7A (mechanics and gravitation; kinetic theory of gases; properties of radiation and radiative energy transport; quantum mechanics of photons, atoms, and electrons; and magnetic fields) and adds the special and general theories of relativity.

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Radio Astronomy Laboratory - Astro 121

Radio Astronomy Laboratory

Astro 121

CCN: 13163

Instructor: Carl Heiles

Several basic laboratory experiments that concentrate on microwave electronics and techniques; construction of receiving, observing, and data analysis systems for two radioastronomical telescopes, a single-dish 21-cm line system and a 12-GHz interferometer; use of these telescopes for astronomical observing projects including structure of the Milky Way galaxy, precise position measurement of several radio sources, and measurement of the radio brightness distributions of the sun and moon with high angular resolution. There is a heavy emphasis on digital data acquisition, software development in the IDL language, and high-quality …

More

Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology - Astro C161

Relativistic Astrophysics and Cosmology

Astro C161

Physics C161

CCN: 13164

Instructor: Aaron Parsons

Elements of general relativity. Physics of pulsars, cosmic rays, black holes. The cosmological distance scale, elementary cosmological models, properties of galaxies and quasars. The mass density and age of the universe. Evidence for dark matter and dark energy and concepts of the early universe and of galaxy formation. Reflections on astrophysics as a probe of the extrema of physics.

More

Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics - Astro C202

Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics

Astro C202

Physics C202

CCN: 13187

Instructor: Chung-Pei Ma

Principles of gas dynamics, self-gravitating fluids, magnetohydrodynamics and elementary kinetic theory. Aspects of convection, fluid oscillations, linear instabilities, spiral density waves, shock waves, turbulence, accretion disks, stellar winds, and jets.

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Astrophysical Techniques - Astro 203

Astrophysical Techniques

Astro 203

CCN: 13188

Instructor: James Graham

Introduction to the flow of astronomical signals through telescope optics and into detectors; subsequent calibration, deconvolution of instrumental artifacts, and analysis. A broad wavelength approach is maintained with focus on shared fundamental concepts. Students "adopt a wavelength band" for assignments and presentations. Analysis and simulation of astronomical signals, noise, and errors.

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Introduction to High Performance Computing for Astrophysicists - Astro 250

Introduction to High Performance Computing for Astrophysicists

Astro 250

CCN: 13191

Instructor: Peter Nugent

This course will provide an introduction to High Performance Computing at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) for astrophysicists. The course will teach students how to use Unix, shell scripting, makefiles, compilers, revision control systems, etc., on a cutting edge HPC system. Students will be given accounts at NERSC in order to gain experience running a variety of current parallel codes in astrophysics, from large-scale simulations to big-data analysis of observational data sets.

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Order of Magnitude Astrophysics - Astro 250

Order of Magnitude Astrophysics

Astro 250

CCN: 13192

Instructor: Jessica Lu

This course will introduce you to order-­of-­magnitude estimation, the practice of solving complex problems approximately, within a factor of 10. In this course, you will learn how to estimate solutions by breaking problems into smaller pieces, making intelligent approximations and assumptions, mostly using knowledge you already have. You will also learn how to exercise your order-of-magnitude skills in practical astronomy situations such as in answering questions during verbal exams and talks, designing new projects, and evaluating others proposals.

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Introduction to Current Research - Astro 290B

Introduction to Current Research

Astro 290B

CCN: 13196

Instructor: Eugene Chiang

Survey of research currently being performed in the Department or the University.

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Introduction to General Astronomy - 10

Introduction to General Astronomy

10

CCN: 13230

Instructor: Gaspard Duchene

This course provides a sweeping overview of our understanding of the Universe, from our own Solar System, and planets around other stars, to black holes, distant galaxies, the Big Bang and more exotic topics like the Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Gravitational Waves. We will also address the question of whether life can arise elsewhere in the Universe than on Earth. We will use fundamental laws of physics - which we will review as we need them - to make sense of the many phenomena that modern telescopes have revealed. The class will emphasize how our understanding of the cosmos is incomplete and continues to evolve even today; how theories …

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Introduction to General Astronomy - Astronomy 10

Introduction to General Astronomy

Astronomy 10

CCN: 13292

Instructor: Alex Filippenko

 A description of modern astronomy with emphasis on the structure and evolution of stars, galaxies, and the Universe. Additional topics optionally discussed include quasars, pulsars, black holes, and extraterrestrial communication, etc. Individual instructor's synopses available from the department.

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Optical and Infrared Astronomy Laboratory - Astro 120

Optical and Infrared Astronomy Laboratory

Astro 120

CCN: 13321

Instructor: Gaspard Duchene

In this course, students undertake several inquiry-based lab experiments to acquire the bases of observational optical astronomy. The experiments, which build on theoretical knowledge obtained in previous classes and include the measurement of the Earth-Sun distance and the detection of an extrasolar planet, provide the students with a first introduction to the methodology of professional research. The skills that are emphasized and developed in the course include data acquisition and processing, thorough error analysis and the underlying statistics, as well as high-quality report writing, weekly show-and-tell discussions and group work. …

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Planetary Astrophysics - Astro C162

Planetary Astrophysics

Astro C162

Earth and Planetary Science C162

CCN: 13361

Instructor: Imke de Pater

Physics of planetary systems, both solar and extra-solar. Star and planet formation, radioactive dating, small-body dynamics and interaction of radiation with matter, tides, planetary interiors, atmospheres, and magnetospheres. High-quality oral presentations may be required in addition to problem sets and a final exam.

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Stellar Physics - Astro 160

Stellar Physics

Astro 160

CCN: 13377

Instructor: Eliot Quataert

Stars are the building blocks of galaxies and play a central role in the evolution of structure in the universe, in the nucleosynthesis of most elements, in the formation of compact objects (white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes), and as tools for measuring cosmological distances (e.g., Cepheids and Type 1a SN).  This course will cover the observations and physics of stars. Primary topics will include the structure of self-gravitating objects, energy transport in stars, nuclear fusion in stars, stellar evolution, the birth of compact objects, and stellar oscillations. The course will emphasize physical understanding and …

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Introduction to Astrophysics - Astro 7A

Introduction to Astrophysics

Astro 7A

CCN: 13408

Instructor: Mariska Kriek

This is the first part of an overview of astrophysics, with an emphasis on the way in which physics is applied to astronomy. We will start with an introduction to astronomy, and learn how astronomers observe the night sky and measure the radiation, velocities, and distances of stars. We will interpret the observations of stars in terms of physical properties, and discuss how the telescopes that we use to obtain these observations work. We will also cover mechanics and celestial motions, and we will learn how to derive masses and other properties of stars and (extra-solar) planets. Next we move on to stellar atmospheres and interiors, and …

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Python for Data Science - Astro 250

Python for Data Science

Astro 250

CCN: 13410

Instructor: Josh Bloom

Python is becoming the de facto superglue language for modern scientific computing. In this course we will learn Pythonic interactions with databases, imaging processing, advanced statistical and numerical packages, web frameworks, machine-learning, and parallelism. Each week will involve lectures and coding projects. In the final project, students will build a working codebase useful for their own research domain. This class is for any student working in a quantitative discipline and with familiarity with Python. Those who completed the Python Bootcamp or equivalent will be eligible

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Radiation Processes in Astronomy - Astro C207

Radiation Processes in Astronomy

Astro C207

Physics C207

CCN: 13414

Instructor: Aaron Parsons

An introduction to the basic physics of astronomy and astrophysics at the graduate level. Principles of energy transfer by radiation. Elements of classical and quantum theory of photon emission; bremsstrahlung, cyclotron and synchrotron radiation. Compton scattering, atomic, molecular and nuclear electromagnetic transitions. Collisional excitation of atoms, molecules and nuclei.  

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Radiation Processes in Astronomy - Astro C207

Radiation Processes in Astronomy

Astro C207

CCN: 13414

Instructor: Aaron Parsons

An introduction to the basic physics of astronomy and astrophysics at the graduate level. Principles of energy transfer by radiation. Elements of classical and quantum theory of photon emission; bremsstrahlung, cyclotron and synchrotron radiation. Compton scattering, atomic, molecular and nuclear electromagnetic transitions. Collisional excitation of atoms, molecules and nuclei.  

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