Lecture: For nonscience majors. Introductory survey of astronomy. How we learn about the Universe and what we already know of it, how it originated, evolves, and its ultimate fate. Emphasis on modern research in solar phenomena, stellar evolution (including white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes) and galaxy studies (including quasars). Lab: Multiple sections. For nonscience students. Introduction to the night sky, telescopes, astronomical events, and celestial maps. Visual and telescopic observations of the constellations, moon, planets, stars, an d other interesting astronomical objects. Attendance is required. Gen.Ed.(PS)
Devoted each year to a particular topic or current research interest. Prerequisites: At least three semesters of physics, astronomy, or geology. Juniors and seniors only, or per instructors permission. Prerequisites: 2 semesters of physics, 2 semesters of calculus, and an astronomy course at the 200 level or above.
Lecture: For nonscience majors. Introduction to the physical characteristics of the earth, moon, planets, asteroids and comets, their motions and gravitational interactions. Recent discoveries of space probes relative to formation of the solar system and origin of life. Lab: Multiple sections. For nonscience students. Introduction to the night sky, telescopes, astronomical events, and celestial maps. Visual and telescopic observations of the constellations, moon, planets, stars, and other interesting astronomical objects. Attendance required.(Gen.Ed. PS)
Basic numerical methods: linear algebra, interpolation and extrapolation, integration, root finding, extremization and differential equations. Introduction to Monte Carlo techniques used to simulate processes that occur in nature and methods to simulate experiments that measure these processes including random number generators, sampling techniques, and multidimensional simulation. Methods for extracting information from experiments such as experimental measurements and uncertainties, confidence intervals, parameter estimation, likelihood methods, least squares method, hypothesis tests, and goodness of fit tests. Chaotic dynamics and other special topics as time permits.
This is a course in applied physics with the ultimate goal of describing how stars work. Topics include gravitation, stellar mass determination, stellar structure, stellar atmospheres, stellar evolution, and the physics of pulsating stars. We will approach each of these topics from fundamental concepts and we will work our way to a detailed understanding. On the way we will review the structure of the atom, radiative processes, and some basic principles of thermodynamics.
Course covers the grandest panorama of all - beginning with the origin of the universe and ending with the rise of humanity. Emphasis is on the greatest questions posed by the human mind. Major topics include the ultimate nature of nature: space-time and matter-energy, origin and ultimate fate of the universe, evolution of galaxies, stars and the elements, origin of the solar system and the Earth, extraterrestrial life, origin of life on earth, the microbial world, plant and animal evolution, primates and the origin and evolution of humans, and Charles Darwin and the process of biological evolution. Discussions cover some of the most interesting and often controversial topics in the natural sciences today including cosmology and dark matter/dark energy, meteorites and life in the solar system, the Snowball Earth hypothesis, chemical evolution of life, the earliest evidence of life on Earth, extremophiles, toxic organisms and biological warfare, the Cambrian explosion, mass extinctions, evolution of humanity, Late Pleistocene-Holocene megafaunal extinctions, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. (Gen. Ed. BS)
Basic weather parameters, light and energy in the atmosphere. Topics include: atmospheric gases and their behavior; instability of the atmosphere; winds and their origin: large scale, small scale. Moisture: evaporation, condensation, clouds. Kinds of precipitation. Storms: hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes. Atmospheric optics: rainbows, halos, mirages. Climate and climate change. (Gen.Ed. PS)
Lecture: For nonscience majors. Introductory survey of astronomy. How we learn about the Universe and what we already know of it, how it originated, evolves, and its ultimate fate. Emphasis on modern research in solar phenomena, stellar evolution (including white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, and black holes) and galaxy studies (including quasars). Lab: Multiple sections. For nonscience students. Introduction to the night sky, telescopes, astronomical events, and celestial maps. Visual and telescopic observations of the constellations, moon, planets, stars, an d other interesting astronomical objects. Attendance is required. Gen.Ed.(PS)