Astronomy Undergraduate Courses • Fall 2015

Introduction to Astrophysics - Astro 7A

Introduction to Astrophysics

Astro 7A

CCN: 05903

Instructor: Mariska Kriek

TuTh 11-1230P, 213 WHEELER

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, …


Introduction to General Astronomy - Astro C10

Introduction to General Astronomy

Astro C10

L&S 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.


Freshman Seminars - Astro 24

Freshman Seminars

Astro 24

CCN: 05995

Instructor: The Staff

Tu 10-11A, 131A CAMPBELL

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.


Optical and Infrared Astronomy Laboratory - Astro 120

Optical and Infrared Astronomy Laboratory

Astro 120

CCN: 06008

Instructor: James Graham

Tu 6-12A, 541 CAMPBELL

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, …


Stellar Physics - Astro 160

Stellar Physics

Astro 160

CCN: 06011

Instructor: Eliot Quataert

TuTh 2-330P, 131A CAMPBELL

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.


Planetary Astrophysics - Astro C162

Planetary Astrophysics

Astro C162

Earth and Planetary Science C162

CCN: 06020

Instructor: Imke de Pater

TuTh 11-1230P, 131A CAMPBELL

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.


Sophomore Seminar - Astro 84

Sophomore Seminar

Astro 84

CCN: 06227

Instructor: Steve Beckwith

W 1-3P, 501 CAMPBELL

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.