Astronomy Undergraduate Courses • Fall 2017

Sophomore Seminar - Astro 84, section 1

Sophomore Seminar

Astro 84, section 1

CCN: 12949

Instructor: Steven Beckwith

Wed. 1:00 - 3:00PM 501B Campbell Hall

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 …


Introduction to General Astronomy - Astro C10

Introduction to General Astronomy

Astro C10

CCN: 13007

Instructor: Alex Filippenko

MWF 3:00 - 4:00PM Wheeler Auditorium

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.


Optical and Infrared Astronomy Laboratory - Astro 120

Optical and Infrared Astronomy Laboratory

Astro 120

CCN: 13025

Instructor: James Graham

Tue 6:00 - 12:00AM 541 Campbell Hall

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.


Planetary Astrophysics - Astro C162

Planetary Astrophysics

Astro C162

CCN: 13050

Instructor: Imke de Pater

T TH 2:00 - 3:30PM 131 Campbell Hall

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.


Introduction to Astrophysics - Astro 7A

Introduction to Astrophysics

Astro 7A

CCN: 13087

Instructor: Dan Weisz

T TH 11:00 - 12:30PM 131 Campbell Hall

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 …