INTRODUCTORY COURSES AND COURSES FOR NON-CONCENTRATORS. Astronomy 101/111 discusses our explorations of the solar system. Astronomy 102/112 deals with stars and the rest of the Universe beyond the solar system. Students in Astronomy 101 and 102 attend a weekly discussion section. Students in Astronomy 111 and 112 actively participate in a laboratory which meets in the evening each week. None of these courses is a prerequisite for any of the others. High school mathematics through plane geometry is useful. All students in each course will have opportunities for a planetarium visit and for evening observations with the telescopes mounted on Angell Hall.
101. Introductory Astronomy: The Solar System. No
credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in
111, 130 or 221. (4). (NS).
Astronomy 101 students attend the same lectures as Astronomy 111 students (see course description below). (Section 001:Sears; Section 007:Bower)
102. Introductory Astronomy: Stars, Galaxies, and the
Universe. No credit granted to those who have completed
or are enrolled in 112, 130 or 222. (4). (NS).
Astronomy 102 students attend the same lectures as Astronomy 112 students (see course description below). Instead of laboratory sections, Astronomy 102 incorporates weekly one-hour discussions and associated homework, which is considered along with examinations and quizzes for course grades. Cost:2 WL:4 (Section 001:Richstone; Section 008:MacAlpine)
111. Introductory Astronomy:
The Solar System. No credit granted to those who
have completed or are enrolled 101, 130 or 221. (4). (NS).
This course presents an introduction to the field of astronomy and astrophysics with an emphasis on the discoveries from space exploration. The first third of the course deals with understanding the history of astronomy, orbits, gravitation, optics and the properties of light and matter. The rest of the course explores the properties, origin and evolution of the major planets, asteroids, comets, the Sun and other components of the Solar System with particular emphasis on comparative aspects with respect to the Earth. The origin and formation of the Solar System and the origin of life will also be discussed. This course is intended for non-science concentrators with a basic high school math and science background. Astronomy 111 has a two-hour laboratory section every week. Astronomy 101 has a one-hour discussion section. Course requirements include assigned reading, section meetings, homework, observations, quizzes, midterm and a final examination. Laboratory sections include observations with telescopes. COST:2 WL:4 (Section 001:Sears; Section 006:Bower)
112. Introductory Astronomy:
Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe. No credit granted
to those who have completed or are enrolled in 102, 130 or 222.
Section 001. This is an introduction to the tools, methods and results of modern astronomy beyond the solar system. It is suitable for non-science concentrators with only a high school mathematics background. The course is independent of Astronomy 101 or 111. We will study the appearance of the night sky, the structure, evolution and birth and death of stars, the synthesis of the elements, the majestic dynamics of galaxies, the incredible violence and energy of quasars, supernovae and accretion onto black holes, and our present understanding of the universe as a whole. We will seek to acquire some sense of both the current state of the art and the principles of scientific problem solving. The course grade will be based on quizzes, two exams and laboratory or discussion exercises. Laboratory sections meet for two evenings hours per week and include observations with telescopes. Cost:2 WL:4 (Richstone)
Section 006. This course is intended primarily for non-science concentrators, who wish to understand the phenomena and properties of the universe beyond our solar system. There are no astromony prerequisites, and a basic high school math background (e.g., not calculus) will suffice. Students examine the widest possible range of interrelated natural phenomena, from sub-atomic particles to the Universe as a whole. Lectures inventory the different types of stars and examine how red giants, white dwarfs, black holes, supernovae, and people all fit together in one grand, remarkable scheme. The larger picture includes our Milky Way galaxy, less hospitable exploding galaxies, and enigmatic quasars. The present state of knowledge or speculation regarding the origin and ultimate fate of our universe will also receive special attention. It all came from somewhere, but where...and why? Course grades will be derived from scheduled quizzes, a midterm and a final exam, and laboratory exercises. Laboratory sections, which meet for two evening hours each week, will include planetarium demonstrations and observations with telescopes (weather permitting) mounted on Angell Hall. Cost:3 WL:4 (MacAlpine)
204/AOSS 204. Introduction to Planetary and Space Science.
High school mathematics through plane geometry and trigonometry. (3). (NS).
This course will present the development of space exploration with a concentration on the major scientific breakthroughs resulting from the exploration of the solar system by the U.S. and Soviet spacecraft. The course is intended for non-science majors: high school mathematics through plane geometry and trigonometry is recommended. The emphasis will be on comparative atmospheric phenomena, and the impact its study has had on the understanding of our own (terrestrial) environment. Topics will include the constraints that the environment of space places on the design of space probes, the history of space sciene in studying the Earth's environment, and the deep-space missions to the other planets and Comet Halley. (There will be two one-hour lectures a week, a one-hour discussion section, and two to three hourly exams. This course can be used to satisfy the LS&A science requirement.
222. General Astronomy: Astrophysics and the Universe.
Astronomy 221 and Math 115 or permission of instructor.
No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled
in 102, 112, or 130. (4). (NS).
This course deals with the astronomy and physics of objects beyond the solar system. (1) Stars: distances, properties, interior structure, and evolution. (2) Our galaxy: structure, dynamics, interstellar matter. (3) Galaxies: distribution and properties. (4) Cosmology: present ideas about the origin, evolution and structure of the Universe. A textbook and outside reading will be assigned. Laboratory work will include observations with the telescopes on Angell Hall, experiments, and discussions. There will be homework problems, two midterm examinations, a final examination, and a required term paper. (Teske)
361. Astronomical Techniques. Astronomy
222 or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).
This course is intended primarily for students concentrating in astronomy, but other science and engineering students may elect it. It is an introduction to various techniques for obtaining and analyzing observational data. The areas covered are stellar trigonometric distance (parallax), imaging and photometry with electronic detectors, radiometric techniques, and interferometry. In addition, early in the course there will be a series of lectures on error theory and least squares, to provide expertise needed in the analysis of observational data. Students will use telescopes and instrumentation on the roof of Angell Hall and at the Radio Observatory near Dexter to make observations. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory period each week. Course work will also include homework exercises and reading in original sources but there are no examinations. (Aller, Sears, Seitzer)
422. Advanced General Astronomy. Astronomy
421 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
Text: The Physical Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, by Frank H. Shu (University Science Books, Mill Valley, CA). This course is a survey of the universe of stars, galaxies, and the universe. Astronomy 421 is not required, but a level of sophistication equal to junior or senior-level courses in physics or chemistry is. Readings from the text are to provide a broad (but qualitative) understanding of the field. Topical themes are covered in the lectures. The following will be highlighted: Atomic and Molecular Structure, Radiative and Convective Energy Transfer, The Structure and Composition of Stellar Atmospheres, The Equations of Stellar Structure and Stellar Models, Interstellar Matter, Chemical Evolution of Galaxies, and Cosmological Models. Weekly problem sets are given to develop analytical and computational skills. These problems involve symbolic manipulation with MAPLE or MATHEMATICA as well as pure number crunching exercises. Call 764-3437 for additional information. Cost:2 WL:3 (Cowley)
520. Cosmochemistry. Astronomy 421, 422
or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
This is a general survey of the chemical evolution of the universe and its contents – from terrestrial materials to the contents of the most distant galaxies. The introductory sections cover traditional differentiation, Goldschmidt's laws of ionic substitution and the Bowen Principle. There is a resume of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, since these disciplines provide the basis for an understanding of many of the regularities of cosmic chemistry. Radioactive dating is discussed within the context of the chemical history of moon rocks and meteorites. Special emphasis is placed on the derivation of a standard (cosmic) abundance distribution for the solar nebula, and the evidence for deviations from it. Sufficient nuclear structure is introduced to allow an understanding of the synthesis of the chemical elements through stellar and cosmological processes. Students run programs that solve the CNO reaction networks illustrating equilibrium abundance ratios and the rate of approach to them. Atomic and molecular structure are reviewed and applied to the chemical analysis of stars and diffuse matter (dust and gas) in our own and external galaxies. Analytical models of the overall chemical evolution of galaxies are compared to observations and more elaborate numerical predictions. Cost:1 WL:3 (Cowley)
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