Course Descriptions

The Astronomy Department offers a set of graduate courses. Most topical courses are taught on a two year cycle. The two core introductory courses, Astronomy 700 and 702, are taught yearly.

Astronomy 500: Techniques of Modern Observational Astrophysics

An introduction to astrophysics data collection. Students will be familiarized with the concepts, techniques, skills and resources needed to plan, obtain, reduce and interpret observations of astronomical objects. Pre-requisites: Graduate student or Astron 310 & instructor consent.

Astronomy 510: Radio Astronomy Lab

An introduction to the techniques of modern observational radio astronomy. The course covers fundamentals of radio astronomy, modern radio instrumentation, and observing techniques, through a mixture of classroom lectures, discussions, and hands-on observational projects with a small radio telescope. Pre-requisites: Graduate student or instructor consent.

Astronomy 700: Basic Astrophysics I - Radiation

Part one of a two-semester overview over the physics of astrophysics. Topics covered: Basic radiation theory, radiative transport, electrodynamics of radiation, fundamental radiation mechanisms in astrophysics, atomic and molecular quantum mechanics, emission from space plasmas and plasma diagnostics, basic statistical mechanics. Pre-requisites: Graduate student.

Astronomy 702: Basic Astrophysics II - Dynamics

Part two of a two-semester overview over the physics of astrophysics. Topics covered: Basic particle and fluid dynamics of stellar and gaseous systems in astrophysics. Review of gravitational dynamics, 2-body relaxation, phase space, basic equations of fluid dynamics, waves, shocks, winds accretion, instabilities. Pre-requisites: Graduate student.

Astronomy 715: Stellar Interiors and Evolution

Physical principles, equilibrium of gaseous spheres, energy transport, energy generation, nucleosynthesis, main sequence red giant and electron degenerate stars. Advanced topics such as origins of stellar variability, binary star evolution, star formation, supernovae explosions, evolution with mass loss. Pre-requisites: Astronomy 700 or instructor consent.

Astronomy 720: The Interstellar Medium

Observational techniques for interstellar medium studies, overview of the role of interstellar gas in galaxies, dynamics, energetics, major theories of structure and evolution, introduction to star formations and supernova remnant evolution. Pre-requisites: Astronomy 700 or instructor consent.

Astronomy 730: Galaxies

Stellar content and dynamics of the Milky Way and other galaxies; galaxy types, evolution of normal galaxies, active nuclei, quasars, radio galaxies. Pre-requisites: Astronomy 700 or instructor consent.

Astronomy 735: Observational Cosmology

Extragalactic distance scale; groups and clusters of galaxies; distribution of galaxies and radio sources. Introduction to general relativity, cosmological models, microwave background, early universe, galaxy formation. Pre-requisites: Astronomy 700 or instructor consent.

Physics 772: High Energy Astrophysics

Review of relativity, Interactions among the particles, fields, and radiation of interstellar and intergalactic space. Gamma-ray, x-ray, and cosmic ray production, propagation, and detection. Compact objects. Pre-requisites: Physics 721 or 322, basic knowledge of special relativity, basic differential equations, or instructor consent. This course is taught by Astronomy faculty in rotation with Physics faculty..

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