Astronomy 172:
Stellar, Galactic and Extragalactic Astronomy
Spring, 2000

Syllabus & Reading Assignments

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Textbook:

R. C. Bless Discovering the Cosmos


Week 1 (March 27-31) :

Introduction

Light: the Cosmic Messenger

Week 2 (April 3-7) :

Gravity and the Masses of Stars

Week 3 (April 10-14) :

The Lifes of Stars

Week 4 (April 17-21) :

Week 5 (April 24-28) :

  • Midterm I: April 24. Lectures 1 to 17.
  • Lecture 21 (April 25): Neutron Stars and Pulsars. Cluster HR Diagrams.
  • Lecture 22 (April 26): The Interstellar Medium
  • Lecture 23 (April 27): Star Formation

Galaxies

  • Lecture 24 (April 28): Structure of the Milky Way. Cepheid Stars.

Week 6 (May 1-5) :

  • Lecture 25 (May 1): Other Galaxies: History of the Discovery of the External Nebulae

Relativity

  • Lecture 26 (May 2): Review of Special and General Relativity
  • Lecture 27 (May 3): Tests of General Relativity
    • Homework 4 due
  • Lecture 28 (May 4): Black Holes
  • Lecture 29 (May 5): The Search for Black Holes: X-ray Binaries and Active Galactic Nuclei

Week 7 (May 8-12) :

Cosmology

  • Lecture 30 (May 8): The Expansion of the Universe: Hubble's Law
  • Lecture 31 (May 9): Olbers' Paradox. Age of the Universe.
  • Lecture 32 (May 10): The Cosmological Principle and the Big Bang Model
  • Lecture 33 (May 11): The Critical Density. The Open, Flat, and Closed Models.
    • Homework 5 due
  • Lecture 34 (May 12): The Scale Factor. The Cosmological Redshift.

Week 8 (May 15-19) :

  • Midterm II: May 15. Lectures 1 to 29.
  • Lecture 35 (May 16): The Cosmic Microwave Background in the Big Bang Model
  • Lecture 36 (May 17): The Cosmic Microwave Background: Discovery and Spectrum.
  • Lecture 37 (May 18): Dark Matter
  • Lecture 38 (May 19): Clusters and Superclusters of Galaxies. Formation of Galaxies.

Week 9 (May 22-26) :

  • Lecture 39 (May 22): Origin of Structure. The Anisotropy in the Cosmic Microwave Background.
  • Lecture 40 (May 23): Primordial Nucleosynthesis.
  • Lecture 41 (May 24): History of the elements: Supernovae and the Element Abundances of Stars.
  • Lecture 42 (May 25): Tests of the Big Bang Model.
    • Homework 6 due

Beyond the Big Bang

Week 10 (May 30- June 2) :

  • Midterm III: May 30. Lectures 1 to 42.
  • Lecture 44 (May 31): The Big Bang did not start at a Point: The Horizon Problem and the Curvature Problem.
    • Paper due
  • Lecture 45 (June 1): History of Life in the Universe.
  • Lecture 46 (June 2): The Future of Life in the Universe.

  • FINAL EXAM June 5, 7:30am to 9:18am.

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    jordi@astronomy.ohio-state.edu J. Miralda-Escudé