Students of astronomy and astrophysics take courses in a number of departments
at the University. Below is a brief description of
courses commonly taken within the program.
- Ast 1001 Exploring the Universe (4 cr. 3 lect, 2 lab hrs/week QP-1011, 1021H, 1031, 1032; SP-1011) The human place in the universe. Study of Earth as a planet, other planets, the sun, stars, galaxies. Background and fragility of life on Earth. Scale, origin, and history of the universe and our relationship to it.
- Ast 1005 Exploring the Universe (4 cr. 3 lect, meets with Ast 1001,QP-1011, 1021H, 1031, 1032; SP-1011) The human place in the universe. Study of Earth as a planet, other planets, the sun, stars, galaxies. Background and fragility of life on Earth. Scale, origin, and history of the universe and our relationship to it.
- Ast 1011H Introduction to Astronomy (4 cr.; QP-1011,1031,1032: high school trigonometry, physics or chemistry; SP-1001; 3 lect, 2 lab hrs/week) The human place in the universe. Study of Earth, other planets, sun, stars, galaxies. Background and fragility of life on Earth,. Scale, origin, history of universe and our relationship to it. Honors version of 1001.
- Freshman Seminar
(2 cr. each) Fall 2017 topics:
1910 The Ultimate Questions
- Ast 2001 Astrophysics (4 cr.; QP- 1 yr calculus, Phys 3254 or #; SP-1 yr calculus, Phys 2303 or #) Physical principles and study of the solar system, stars, galaxy, universe. How observations and conclusions are made.
- Ast 2990 Directed Studies (1-5 cr.; QP-1 yr calculus, Phys 1253, #SP- 1 yr calculus, Phys 1302, #) Independent, directed study in observational and theoretical astrophysics areas arranged by student with faculty member.
- Ast 4001 Astrophysics I (4 cr. SP-Upper div CLA or CSE or grad student) Survey of stars and stellar evolution. Stellar atmospheres and interiors. Birth and Evolution of stars. White dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes. Stellar populations in the Milky Way.
- Ast 4002 Astrophysics II (4 cr. SP-Upper div CLA or CSE or grad student) Diffuse matter. Galaxies, clusters of galaxies, galaxy evolution and active galaxies. Introductory cosmology.
- Ast 4031 Interpretation and Analysis of Astrophysical Data (4 cr. QP-upper div CLA or CSE or grad student or SP-Upper div CLA or CSE or grad student) Introduction to analysis techniques with applications to modern astrophysics. Methods to interpret/analyze large data sets from experiments. Principles/methods of analysis, with applications to current research. For senior undergraduate/graduate students in Physics/Astronomy.
- Ast 4041 Computational Methods in the Physical Sciences (4 cr. QP-upper div CLA or CSE or grad student or SP-Upper div CLA or CSE or grad student) Introduction to using computer programs to solve problems in physical sciences. Selected numerical methods, mapping problems onto computational algorithms. Arranged lab. Cross-listed as PHY 4041.
- Ast 4299H Senior Honors Astrophysics Research Seminar (2 cr.; QP- upper div honors student in CSE or CLA; SP-upper div honors student in CSE or CLA) Based on the Institute's research seminar, AST 8200.
- Ast 4990 Directed Studies (1-5 cr. QP-3051, SP-2001) Independent research in observational and/or theoretical astrophysics under the direction of a faculty member.
- AST 4994W Directed Research (3-5 cr. Instr Cnsnt) An independent research project to be conducted with a faculty advisor. Specific contents in terms of science topic, data, analysis, instrumentation, etc. are to be decided on an individual basis, in close consultation with the advisor. The draft of the student's report must be submitted to the faculty advisor for comments, before the submission of the final report.
- Ast 5001 Galactic Astronomy (3 cr.) Galactic Astronomy will include a survey of the structure of the Milky Way galaxy, its stellar populations including open and globular clusters and the Solar neighborhood, and the formation and evolution of its structure. The course will also include an in-depth discussion of stellar distances and motions.
- Ast 5012 The Interstellar Medium (4 cr.; QP-3051, Phys 3513 or #; SP-2001, Phys 2601, or #), Survey of physical processes in the interstellar medium. Dynamic processes, excitation processes, emission and absorption by gas and dust. Hot bubbles, HII regions, molecular clouds.
- Ast 5022 Relativity, Cosmology and the Universe (4 cr.; QP-3051, Phys 3513 or #; SP-2001, Phys 2601) Large scale structure and history of the universe. Introduction to Newtonian and relativistic world models. Physics of the early universe, cosmological tests, formation of galaxies. Cross-listed as PHY 5022.
- Ast 5201 Methods of Experimental Astrophysics (4 cr.; QP-3051, Phys 3512; SP-Upper div IT or grad student or #) Contemporary astronomical techniques and instrumentation. Emphasizes data reduction and analysis, including image processing. Students make astronomical observations at O'Brien Observatory and use department's computing facilities for data analysis. Image processing packages include IRAF, AIPS, IDL, MIRA.
- Ast 8001 Radiative Processes in Astrophysics (4 cr; SP-#) Introduction to classical/quantum physics of electromagnetic radiation as it applies to astrophysics. Emphasizes radiative processes (e.g. emission, absorption, scattering) in astrphysical contexts (e.g. ordinary stars, ISM, neutron stars, active galaxies).
- Ast 8011 High Energy Astrophysics (4 cr; SP-#) Energetic phenomena in the universe. Radiative processes in high energy regimes; supernovae, pulsars, and X-ray binaries; radio galaxies, quasars, and active galactic nuclei.
- Ast 8021 Stellar Astrophysics (4 cr.; SP-#) Stellar structure, evolution, andstar formation. Emphasizes contemporary research.
- Ast 8031 Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics (4 cr.; SP-#) Introduction to the physics of ideal and nonideal fluids with application to problems of astrophysical interest - steady and unsteady flows, instabilities, turbulence. Conducting fluid flows; magnetohydrodynamics.
- Ast 8041 Comparative Planetology (4 cr.; SP-#) Overview of current knowledge of the solar system. Formation history of protostellar nebulae, physical properties of major planetary bodies/moons. Sun and fossils of epoch of planetary system formation: comets, asteroids, minor bodies.
- Ast 8051 Galactic Astronomy (4 cr.; SP-#) Content, structure, evolution and dynamics of Milky Way Galaxy. Emphasizes recent observations from space-/ground-based telescopes.
- Ast 8061 Radio Astronomy (4 cr.; SP-#) Techniques/applications of radio astronomy. Basics of signal-to-noise ratios. Sensitivities/applications of Fourier transform and power spectra. Aperture synthesis, single dish applications. Observing of continuum emission and spectral line emission/absorption, astrophysical examples.
- Ast 8071 Infrared Astronomy (4 cr.; SP-#) Techniques/applications of infrared astronomy. Basics of signal-to-noise ratios/sensitivities, challenges of developing infrared instrumentation. Observations of continuum emission (blackbody, free-free, synchrotron). Spectral line emission/absorption, infrared polarization. Astrophysical examples.
- Ast 8081 Cosmology (4 cr.; SP-#) Role of gravity in cosmology. Background, recent research advances.
- Ast 8110 Topics in Astrophysics (2-4 cr.; SP-#)
- Ast 8120 Topics in Astrophysics (2-4 cr.; SP-#)
- Ast 8200 Astrophysics Seminar (1-3 cr; SP-#)
- Ast 8333 FTE: Master's (1 cr; SP-Master's student, adviser and DGS consent)
- Ast 8444 FTE: Doctoral (1 cr; SP-Doctoral student, adviser and DGS consent)
- Ast 8666 Doctoral Pre-Thesis Credits (1-18 cr; SP-Max 18 cr per semester or summer; doctoral student who has not passed prelim oral)
- Ast 8777 Thesis Credits - Master's (1-18 cr; SP-Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 10 cr total required [Plan A only])
- Ast 8888 Thesis Credits - Doctoral (1-18 cr; SP-Max 18 cr per semester or summer; 24 cr total required)
- Ast 8990 Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1-4 cr; SP-#) Research under supervision of a graduate faculty member.