Astronomy 62 — Introduction to Astrophysics

A general survey of modern astrophysics. The course starts with the fundamental physical concepts underlying much of astrophysics, including gravitation and orbital mechanics, and radiative processes (including blackbody radiation, line emission and rudiments of radiative transfer). We then move on to discuss the stellar structure, evolution and death, the physics of compact stars, the interstellar medium and star-formation, and the structure and evolution of the galaxies, galaxy clusters and the universe. The course meets for three lecture periods each week. The students are evaluated based on their homework and test performance. In addition, each student makes a 15-minute presentation on the topic of his choice; these are spaced throughout the semester and are meant to compliment the material being currently discussed in lecture. This gives the students an opportunity to research at least one topic in considerably more depth than we are able to do in class. Offered jointly with Pomona and Joint Sciences. Prerequisite: Physics 51 or equivalent.

    Meetings, Fall 2019