Department of Physics and Astronomy
An introductory course in astronomy, which includes the following topics: motions of celestial objects, eclipses, historical development, the nature of light, telescopes, properties and evolution of the solar system.
An introductory course in astronomy which includes the following topics: the Sun, stellar properties, stellar evolution, black holes, the Milky Way, galactic evolution, quasars, cosmology.
ASTR 220 is the first in a two-course sequence in general astronomy intended for students with a background in physics. Topics covered include: appearance and movements of the night sky; astronomical coordinate systems and timekeeping; seasons, eclipses and planetary configurations; planetary motions and gravitation; fundamental forces; electromagnetic radiation and its detection; content, structure, formation and evolution of solar system; observations and models of the Sun, stellar interior models; stellar magnitudes and spectra, classifications; Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. Prerequisite: PHYS 140 or PHYS 240.
ASTR 221 is the second in a two-course sequence in general astronomy intended for students interested in science. Topics covered include : stellar evolution; variability and high-energy phenomena in stars and multiple-star systems; content, structure, and dynamics of the Milky Way; external galaxies, quasars and AGN; large-scale structure and the distance scale of the universe; the Big Bang model and alternative cosmologies, possible geometries and eventual fates of the universe. An observational astronomy laboratory component is part of this course. The lab component will cover basics of telescope set up and operation as well as astronomical coordinate systems. Prerequisite: ASTR 220.
Topics in astronomy at the second year level. May be repeated for credit when course content changes. Topics selected may dictate prerequisites. Students should consult instructor prior to enrolling for course. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
A study of the search for life in the universe, with emphasis on teacher preparation. Topics include how life on earth can guide the search, conditions for life within our solar system, extrasolar planets that may be conducive to life, possible radio communications with other civilizations and technologies necessary for search. Significant time is spent developing student lesson plans. Prerequisites: GSCI 161, GSCI 162, GSCI 163 and GSCI 164.
An overview of modern astronomical techniques with an emphasis on quantitative data collection and analysis. The design and use of various astronomical devices will be covered. Topics will include visible light telescopes and radio telescopes as well as CCD data collection in addition to other current astronomical techniques. Data reduction software will also be addressed. Prerequisites: ASTR 220 and ASTR 221.
Topics in astronomy at the intermediate level. May be repeated for credit when course content changes. Topics selected may dictate prerequisites. Students should consult instructor prior to enrolling for course. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
1-3 credits, repeatable to 4 credits.
An individual project related to some aspect of physics or astronomy. Must be under the guidance of a faculty adviser. A student may not earn more than a total of four credits for PHYS 398 and ASTR 398.
An introduction to the problems of modern astronomy and the quantitative application of physical principles to these problems. Topics of study include stellar structure and evolution, the interstellar medium and star formation, cosmic rays, pulsars, galactic structure, extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. Prerequisites: PHYS 340 and PHYS 380.
Topics in astronomy at the advanced level. May be repeated for credit when course content changes. Topics selected may dictate prerequisites. Students should consult instructor prior to enrolling for course. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
1-4 credits, repeatable to 6 credits.Research in a selected area of physics or astronomy as arranged with a faculty research advisor. A student may not earn more than a total of six credits for PHYS/ASTR 498R. Prerequisite: Proposal for study must be approved prior to registration.