College of LS&A

Fall Academic Term 2003 Graduate Course Guide

Note: You must establish a session for Fall Academic Term 2003 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 6:23 PM on Tue, Sep 23, 2003.

Fall Academic Term 2003 (September 2 - December 19)


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). May not be repeated for credit.

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 403. Astrophysics of the Interstellar Medium.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): John D Monnier (monnier@umich.edu)

Prerequisites: MATH 216, and prior or concurrent enrollment in PHYSICS 240 (or 260). (3). May not be repeated for credit.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/~monnier/Courses/2003Fall_AY403.html

This course examines the various types of gaseous components and their interaction with stars through the processes of star formation, stellar mass loss, photoionization of gas by hot stars, and supernova explosions. The interstellar medium (the gas between stars) comprises a wide variety of material that interacts closely, and often violently, with individual stars and the host galaxy. First, the underlying atomic and molecular physics is developed and then we examine how gas is ionized by hot stars and by supernova remnants. We analyze the content of the cold pervasive atomic and molecular gas in the galaxy, how it often lies in spiral arms, and why giant molecular clouds are the most active sites of star formation. Finally, recent discoveries are highlighted, such as the presence of galactic "cirrus" as seen from the dust distribution.

Primary Textbook:

  • "The Physics of the Interstellar Medium (2nd edition)" by J.E. Dyson and D.A. Williams

    (Copies should be available at Ulrich's and online bookstores; one copy has been placed on reserve at the Shapiro Science Library)

Recommended Readings: Other potentially useful texts will be placed on reserve at the Shapiro Science Library. These include:

  • "The Physics of Astrophysics. Volumes I (Radiation) and II (Gas Dynamics)" by Frank Shu
  • "Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium" by Lyman Spitzer, Jr.
  • "Microwave Spectroscopy" by Charles Townes and Art Schawlow
  • "Astrophysics of the Diffuse Universe" by Michael A. Dopita and Ralph S. Sutherland

Grading Policies: Grades in this course will be based on several components. There will be regular homework assignments, every one or two weeks, covering the lectures and assigned reading (generally from the course textbook, but also including outside sources). There will be one conventional hour-long exam given during the academic term (a midterm) plus a 2-hour final exam; these exams will account for 45% of your final grade. Lastly, participation in classroom discussions will be an important component of your grade as well. The final grading will be done according to the following :
Homework 40%
Final Exam 30%
Midterm Exam 15%
Participation 15%

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). May not be repeated for credit.

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: 5, Permission of instructor required.

ASTRO 501. Modern Astronomical Techniques.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Rebecca A Bernstein (rabernst@umich.edu) , John D Monnier (jmonnier@umich.edu)

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www.astro.lsa.umich.edu/~rab/2003Fall_AY501_RAB.html

The physical, mathematical, and practical methods of modern astronomical observations at all wavelengths are covered at a level that will prepare students to comprehend published data and prepare for their own observations. Major topics include: noise sources and astrophysical backgrounds; astronomical optics and aberrations; the physical basis of coherent and incoherent photon detectors; design and use of imaging, spectroscopic, and polarimetric instruments; coordinate and filter systems; antenna theory; aperture synthesis and image reconstruction techniques; and further topics of interest at the discretion of the instructor.

Useful Textbooks: (a good idea to own = **)

**"Astronomical Optics," by Daniel Schroeder

"Observational Astrophysics," Lena, Lebrun, Mignard (2nd Ed)

**"Astronomical CCD Observing and Reduction Techniques", ed. S. B. Howell, (ASP Conf Series V23)

(Copies should be available on the online bookstores; one copy has been placed on reserve at the Shapiro Science Library)

Grading Policies:
Grading will have a few components. There will be approximately one homework assignment per week covering the lectures and assigned readings. There will be a one-hour in-class exam at the end of each half of the course. Lastly, participation in class discussions will also play a role in your grade. The final grading will be done according to the following table:
Homework 60%
Final Exam 20%
Participation 20%

Each half of the course will be graded according to the above guidelines and the two halves will be averaged to get your final course grade.

Topics:

    Emitting/Transmitting photons:

    • Basic Observables
    • Foregrounds/backgrounds: Earth
    • Foregrounds/backgrounds: Solar system/galaxy, Coordinates
  • Detectors:

    • intro/photon statistics
    • UV, IR, X-ray
    • CCD basics
    • CCD performance
  • Image Reduction and Analysis:

    • Flux and Photometric systems
    • Imaging
    • Imaging
  • Optics:

    • geometrical optics
    • lenses, glasses
    • mirrors
    • telescopes
  • Spectrographs: basics

    • dispersion
    • cameras, examples
    • advanced
    • spectroscopy

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

ASTRO 690. Theoretical Astrophysics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (1-4). May not be repeated for credit.

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). May not be repeated for credit.

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). May not be repeated for credit.

Credits: (1-8).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

A course on problems in astronomy. Content varies by term and instructor.

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

ASTRO 901. Research in Theoretical Astrophysics.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. Permission of instructor required. (1-8). (INDEPENDENT). May not be repeated for credit.

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 902. Research in Observational Astrophysics.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. Permission of instructor required. (1-8). (INDEPENDENT). May not be repeated for credit.

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 department required.

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 required.


Undergraduate Course Listings for ASTRO.


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This page was created at 6:23 PM on Tue, Sep 23, 2003.


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