Astronomy C2002

Introduction to Astrophysics, II

Hours: 2:40-3:55PM Tuesday/Thursday

Classroom: Pupin 1332

**Instructor: **

Associate Professor of Astronomy

Phone number: 854-7899

Office: Pupin 1012

Office hours: Tuesday 4:00-5:30 P.M.

Instructor's home page.

**Course summary: **

The topic of this course is galaxies and their place in the Universe.
In particular we will cover interstellar material in our own Galaxy, the
structures and motion within our Galaxy, types of normal galaxies, more exotic
"active" galaxies, galactic cores, "dark matter" within galaxies, the larger
structures in which galaxies are contained, the expansion of the Universe,
gravitation's effects on the Universe, dark energy and the acceleration of
Universal expansion, the Big Bang, the creation of matter and the chemical
elements in the early Universe, dark matter in the Universe, the evolution of
the Universe and current trends in trying to understand how the Universe was
created and how it evolves.
We will explore many of the recent discoveries made by the *Hubble Space
Telescope* and other space observatories, and novel studies from the
surface of the Earth of dark matter and large scale structure in the Universe.
This is an exciting field where much is still unknown, but where significant
progress is currently being made.
This progress involves the application of well-established principles of physics
in order to discover new ones capable of explaining how the Universe and the
objects within it came to be.
We will be using mathematics and basic physics to explain many of the concepts
of the course.

Our text will be a very readable work by Carroll and Ostlie,
*An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics*.
There will be a weekly reading of about 35 pages from the book, plus
about a half-dozen, usually simple writing or calculational exercises. Grading will
consist of 50% weekly exercises, 25% final exam, 15% midterm exam and 10% class
participation. The lowest three exercise grades (15% of the course grade) or the
equivalent on the exams will be dropped in computing the final grade.

**Prerequisites: **

None. The level of mathematics required is basic algebra and a working knowledge
of calculus, both of which we will use extensively.
THE STUDENT IS URGED TO BE REALISTIC IN JUDGING WHETHER HER/HIS
MASTERY OF MATHEMATICS ARE SUFFICIENT AND FRESH.

The level of difficulty of mathematics involved in the course encompasses:

exponential notation: 300000 = 3^{5},
0.00025 = 2.5^{-4}, etc.

logarithms, roots, exponentiation: log x^{n} = n log x,
x^{0.5} =
, etc.

basic trigonometry: (sin x)/(cos x)=tan x, sin 2x = 2 sin x cos x, etc.

differential calculus: d(x^{n}) = n x^{n-1}, d(sin y)/dx =
(cos y) (dy/dx), etc.

integral calculus:
x^{2} dx
= x^{3}/3
= 7/3,
dx/x
= ln (x), etc.

It is also assumed that students remember physical concepts from the first part
of the course, including Newton's basic laws of moving objects, the wave nature
and propagation of light, classical laws of gravitation, angular momentum and
gravitational orbits, the virial theorem, thermal radiation, the basic structure
of atoms and atomic nuclei, the chemical elements, and the production of
spectral lines.
Any student who is not familiar with these concepts should consult the
instructor during office hours.

**Corequisites: **

Second semester of introductory, calculus-based physics course taken concurrently (or already completed).

**Course
Syllabus and Assignments **

**Required texts: **

**Columbia University home page.
**