Fall 2017 courses
AST 380E Radiative Processes & Radiative Transfer
Prof. Volker Bromm, MW 2-3:30 pm. This course will develop the fundamental equations of how radiation interacts with matter in astrophysical systems. Students will be introduced to the key principles behind synchrotron, bremsstrahlung and Compton emission, thus providing the foundation to many cutting-edge phenomena in astronomy.
AST 381 Physics of Compact Objects
Prof. Pawan Kumar, TTH 9:30 – 11:00am. How do stars die, and what are the stellar remnants left behind? This course will cover the astrophysics of white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. This involves Einstein’s general relativistic description of strong gravitational fields, and a discussion of the properties of matter, radiation, and magnetic fields at extreme densities. How can we compute the structure of these compact objects?
AST 381 Planetary Astrophysics
Prof. Adam Kraus, TTH 11:00am – 12:30pm. The course will survey our rapidly developing knowledge of exo-planetary systems, and what their architecture and statistics can tell us about planet formation. What are the basic physical principles involved? And what are the key observational techniques? How can we assess the potential habitability of select exoplanets, such as the recently discovered planet Proxima b?
AST 386 Galaxy Evolution at High-Redshift
Prof. Caitlin Casey, MW 9:30 – 11:00am. This course provides a survey of the key properties of galaxies at early cosmic epochs, and addresses the cosmological pathways for their formation. Students will learn the physical principles that govern their structure and evolution, and the strategies to observe them with cutting-edge telescopes and facilities.
AST 392J Astronomical Instrumentation
Prof. John Lacy, TTH 11am-12:30pm. This course will provide a hands-on introduction into cuting-edge astronomical instrumentation. Students will learn both the underlying principles, and will receive real-life laboratory exposure to instrument building.
Spring 2018 courses
AST 381C Gravitational Dynamics
Prof. Mike Boylan-Kolchin. How does gravity govern the motion of large numbers of bodies in astronomical settings? This course will develop the powerful techniques to tackle the dynamics of such large-N systems of stars or galaxies. It will also cover the collective behavior of dark matter particles. What are the emerging equilibrium solutions? How can non-equilibrium situations be addressed? What are the stability properties of self-gravitating systems?
AST 383 Astronomical Data Analysis
Prof. Milos Milosavljevic. This course will survey the emerging field of “Big Data”, as it applies to astronomy. What are the key algorithms and computational strategies? How can novel approaches enable astronomers to get on top of the huge data sets generated by ongoing and planned survey projects?
AST 383D Stellar Structure and Evolution
Prof. Don Winget. This course develops the fundamental theory of the structure of stars and their evolution. How are forces balanced inside a star? How is energy generated, transported and released from the surface? What governs the way that stars of different masses evolve? What are their eventual final fates? How can we compute this? And how can we observationally test our predictions?
AST 396C Elements of Cosmology
Prof. Paul Shapiro. What is the universe made of, and how does it evolve? This course develops our modern picture of cosmic structure and evolution, beginning in the primordial fireball, and leading to the formation of cosmological structures, such as galaxies, and clusters thereof. How do dark matter and dark energy drive the dynamics of cosmic expansion? What does the cosmic microwave background tell us about the initial conditions for galaxy formation? What is the landscape of cutting-edge observational probes and techniques?