Astronomy Graduate Courses • Fall 2018
In addition to introducing first-year graduate students and anyone interested to research opportunities with Astronomy faculty and research staff, this class discusses a wide variety of "meta" topics, e.g., how to choose a research advisor, what constitutes a competitive PhD thesis, and standards for ethical behavior in the workplace. Nuts-and-bolts topics such as good programming practices and popular software tools (jupyter, github, sharelatex, and the like) are also covered. Faculty panelists are invited to weigh in with personal perspectives.
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.
The physical foundations of planetary sciences. Topics include planetary interiors and surfaces, planetary atmospheres and magnetospheres, and smaller bodies in our solar system. The physical processes at work are developed in some detail, and an evolutionary picture for our solar system, and each class of objects, is developed. Some discussion of other (potential) planetary systems is also included.
Basic physics of high energy radiation processes in an astrophysics environment. Cosmic ray production and propagation. Applications selected from pulsars, x-ray sources, supernovae, interstellar medium, extragalactic radio sources, quasars, and big-bang cosmologies.