College of LS&A

Fall Academic Term '02 Graduate Course Guide

Note: You must establish a session for Fall Academic Term 2002 on wolverineaccess.umich.edu in order to use the link "Check Times, Location, and Availability". Once your session is established, the links will function.

Courses in Astronomy


This page was created at 5:36 PM on Thu, Oct 3, 2002.

Fall Academic Term, 2002 (September 3 - December 20)

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ASTRO 402. Stellar Astrophysics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Charles R Cowley (cowley@umich.edu)

Prerequisites: MATH 216, and prior or concurrent enrollment in PHYSICS 340. (3).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/users/cowley/NEWS402.html

This course is a survey of stellar astronomy and astrophysics, building upon an elementary background of basic physics, mechanics, and interaction of radiation and matter (atomic spectra). No astronomy course is a prerequisite, although students who have not had any astronomy may find it helpful to read an introductory text book for overviews. Course topics include: basic stellar data; celestial mechanics and binary stars; stellar atmospheres and abundances of the chemical elements; stellar interiors, evolution, and nucleosynthesis; and space distributions and motions of stars in the Galaxy. Course work includes homework exercises, hour exams, and a final exam.

TEXT: Fundamental Astronomy (Karttunen, Kroger, Oja, Poutanen, and Donner 3rd Ed.: Springer-Verlag).

STRUCTURE: There will be two one hour quizzes to be given on 6 October and 3 November. The first quiz will cover Chapters 1, 3, 7, and 10, the second Chapters 4, 5, 6, 11, and 15. The final examination will cover Chapters 12, 17, 18, and 2 in addition to the preceding 10 chapters; the latter chapters of the book will be emphasized. The final will be on Tuesday, 19 December, from 1:30 to 3:30pm.

PROBLEMS: Problem sets will be assigned in class, typically on Mondays, and they will usually be due the following Mondays. Of the assigned problems, ONE will be graded in detail. WHICH one will be graded will not be decided upon until after the papers are collected! Complete answer sheets will be passed out when the problem sets are returned. It is your responsibility to be sure that you know how to work ALL of the problems, not just the ones that are graded. Feel free to ask questions at ANY time (other than MWF before class) about the problems.

LECTURES: The lectures will not follow the text closely, but will highlight selected topics. The first third of the lectures will be on the properties of stars, their colors and spectral types, and the orbital mechanics of double stars. The second third will deal with stellar structure and evolution. We will then discuss the theory of atomic and stellar spectra, and work out in a very simple way how we know the physical conditions and abundances in stellar atmospheres. This will probably overlap with the final third, which if time permits, will treat stars and stellar nucleosynthesis within the context of the structure of our Galaxy.

COMPUTING: Some problem sets will involve programming, and running programs on the department's SUNs which use the UNIX operating system. You will need a basic knowledge of UNIX, which will be sufficient to allow you to create and open files, write text to them, process the files with a compiler, and execute compiled code. Instructions will be passed out with the problem sets, telling you how to run the programs as well as how to get set up with the appropriate operating system. If you are unfamiliar with MS-DOS, the basic command language of PC's as well as WINDOWS*, you should work at this too. A few of the programs written for this course are in PASCAL or C, but the majority are in FORTRAN.

GRADES: The (average of the) two hour quizzes, the final examination, and the problem sets will each count roughly 1/3 of the total grade. The hour quizzes and the final examination will have two parts, one from the text, weighted 30%, and one from the lectures, weighted 70%. You will be expected to have a QUALITATIVE understanding of the material in the text; the quantitative and analytical aspects of the course will come from the lectures.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

ASTRO 405. High Energy Astrophysics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Joel N Bregman (jbregman@umich.edu)

Prerequisites: MATH 216, and prior or concurrent enrollment in PHYSICS 340. (3).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Astronomical phenomena are often violent, naturally producing energetic particles under exotic circumstances. This course examines the underlying astrophysics of such objects. We begin with high energy radiation processes and basic fluid mechanics. This physics is applied to accretion onto black holes and other compact objects and the astronomical phenomena that result. We will also study supernovae, the origin of X-ray and Gamma-ray background radiation fields, Gamma-ray bursts, and cosmic rays.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 500. Theoretical Astrophysics: Light and Matter.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Philip A Hughes (hughes@umich.edu)

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (3).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The major theme of this course is the physical basis behind much of modern astrophysics, emphasizing thermal and non-thermal radiation mechanisms, radiative transfer, fluid mechanics, and plasma physics. Atomic and molecular structure will be developed, along with the variety of transitions that occur and are observed, while the treatment of non-thermal radiation fill focus on synchrotron and Compton scattering. The radiative transfer of the light in matter is developed and a subset of the wide range of observable phenomena is explored. Introductory sections on particle, fluid dynamics and plasma physics are taught, with an emphasis of the phenomena that most commonly occur in astrophysical circumstances.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 533. The Structure and Content of Galaxies.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Mario L Mateo (mmateo@umich.edu)

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (3).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course provides a detailed introduction to the stellar content gaseous content, and kinematics and dynamics of the Milky Way and of other external galaxies. The basic stellar data of the Galaxy are described along with the distance scale of the Milky Way. The structure of the Galaxy is explored via star counts. A complete description is provided of the kinematics of our Galaxy based on both stellar and 21-cm observations, leading to a detailed discussion of the rotational properties of the Galactic disk. The stellar populations of galaxies are discussed from a kinematic and chemical standpoint, while the global properties of the ISM are explored; these are combined to provide a picture of the large-scale star-formation processes in galaxies. The course offers an introduction on the basic properties and demographics of normal galaxies in the local Universe, including systems within the Local Group and Local Superduster. The taxonomy and fundamental physical properties of Active Galactic Nuclei are also presented. The course also provides a rigorous introduction to galactic dynamics, including basic properties of the collisionless Boltzmann equation, relaxation processes, orbits in a galactic potential, the Virial theorem, epicyclic orbits, and realistic stellar distribution functions. The course also explores fundamental issues regarding galaxy -scale dynamical instabilities and resonances.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 690. Theoretical Astrophysics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (1-4).

Credits: (1-4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Special topics in Theoretical Astrophysics. Topics to be decided by instructor.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Instructor

ASTRO 691. Observational Astrophysics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (1-4).

Credits: (1-4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Special topics in Observational Astrophysics. Topics to be decided by instructor.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Instructor

ASTRO 699. Special Problems.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (1-8). (INDEPENDENT).

Credits: (1-8).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

No Description Provided. Contact the Department.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ASTRO 990. Dissertation/Precandidate.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Election for dissertation work by doctoral student not yet admitted as a Candidate. Graduate Standing. (1-8). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (1-8; 1-4 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Election for dissertation work by doctoral student not yet admitted as a Candidate.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Instructor

ASTRO 995. Dissertation/Candidate.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate School authorization for admission as a doctoral Candidate. Graduate Standing. (8). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (8; 4 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Graduate School authorization for admission as a doctoral Candidate. N.B. The defense of the dissertation (the final oral examination) must be held under a full term Candidacy enrollment period.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Department

Undergraduate Course Listings for ASTRO.


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This page was created at 5:36 PM on Thu, Oct 3, 2002.


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