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Graduate Program

Astronomy Courses

 
AST 403 EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUES IN ASTRONOMY

This course is an introduction to the tools of modern observation astronomy. We discuss geometrical and physical optics applied to telescopes and astronomical cameras; the physics of light detection at radio, infrared, visible, X-ray, and y-ray wavelengths; and the instruments and techniques used for observations of faint celestial objects over the faull useful range of spectral and angular resolution. The intention is to provide to students the preparation necessary to design, build and optimize astronomical instruments. However, the material should be useful to anyone who will be using remote-sensing instruments, astronomical or otherwise, or is seeking to understand measurements made with these devices.

Prerequisites: The equivalent of PHY 217, 218 MTh 281 & PHY 227.

AST 450 STELLAR ATMOSPHERES

Spectra of main sequence stars. Radiative transfer. The gray atmosphere. Opacities and non-gray model atmospheres. Theory of line formation and broadening: curve of growth analyses of stellar spectra.

Prerequisites: PHY 407, PHY 408 and PHY 418, in the past or concurrently

AST 453 INTRODUCTION TO STELLAR INTERIORS & ATMOSPHERES

A first course on stellar interiors and atmospheres in which approximately 50 percent of a semester is devoted to each. Stellar Interiors topics cover hydrostatic equilibrium, the Virial theorem, energy generation and transport, overview of stellar evolution, PMS Evolution, main sequence evolution, late evolution, evolution in close binary systems, stellar modelling (in part), the approach to real models. Stellar Atmospheres topics cover basic Radiative Transphere, transport Equation, Eddington-Barbier approximation, line and continuum transfer in LTE, radiative transfer in static Plane-Parallel stars. exponential integrals and the Schwarzshild-Milne equations, Lambda, Phi and Chi operators, various Eddington approximations, Atmospheres of Static Plane-Parallel Stars, pressure stratification, temperature stratification, radiative equilibrium, Gray-atmosphere approximation, spectra from static Plane-Parallel stars. line broadening mechanisms, spectral line formation. See A450 & A553 for full-fledged courses.

Prerequisites: PHY 407, PHY 408, PHY 418, or concurrently
Last Offered: Fall 2012

AST 455 ASTRONOMICAL INTERFEROMETRY

his course is an introduction to the principal technique of modern radio astronomy, and an increasingly important tool for infrared and visible wavelengths: spatial interferometry. We discuss the elements of physical optics, coherence theory, and the physics of detectors and receivers that bear on astronomical interferometry. We follow this formal development with a detailed account of the practice of interferometry, calibration, and data reduction. The intention is to provide to students all they need to know to understand, plan, propose, and analyze observations with such instruments as the Very Large Array (VLA), the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), the Owens Valley Radio Observatory's (OVRO) Millimeter Array, and the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Array (BIMA) at Hat Creek Radio Observatory.

Prerequisites: AST 403 and PHY 415

AST 461 PHYSICS OF ASTROPHYSICS I

One half of the required 2 part sequence (can be taken before or after AST 462). Focuses on the physics of radiation production by ionized and atomic matter, the transfer of radiation through matter, and what we measure from astrophysical objects. Concepts are developed from first principles and many applications in astrophysics are studied. (course is cross-listed with PHY 451).

Prerequisites: PHY 407, PHY 408, PHY 415, PHY 418, in the past or concurrently.
Last Offered: Spring 2016

AST 462 PHYSICS OF ASTROPHYSICS II

One half of the required 2 part sequence (can be taken before or after AST 461). Focuses on hydrodynamic and plasma processes relevant to astrophysics. Fundamentals of fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics, fluid, MHD, and thermal instabilities, turbulence, supersonic and subsonic flow. Accretion physics, shocks, dynamos, particle accelerations in plasmas, dynamics of magnetic fields. Concepts are developed from first principles and many applications in astrophysics are studies. (Cross-listed with PHY 452).

Prerequisites: None.
Last Offered: Fall 2017

AST 465 OBSERVATIONAL GALATIC STRUCTURE

Star, gas, and dust distribution in our galaxy. Structure studies and classification of other galaxies. Clusters of galaxies, red shifts, Seyfert galaxies, peculiar galaxies, quasars.

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor

AST 551 DIFFUSE MATTER IN SPACE

Physical state of gas and dust. Heating and cooling mechanisms. Grain and molecular formation. Gas dynamics, ionization fronts, SN explosions.

AST 552 GALACTIC DYNAMICS

Boltzmann equation and collision theory. Structure and evolution of clusters, numerical experiments, Galactic hydrodynamics, wave theory of spiral arms, models of galactic nucleus regions, superdense cluster theory.

Last Offered: Fall 2011

AST 553 STELLAR INTERIORS

Quantitative theory of model integration and description of early stages of evolution. Variable stars and rotational models. Later stages of evolution, white dwarfs, neutron stars, nucleosynthesis, supernova models.

Prerequisites: AST 461, AST 462 or AST 453

AST 554 COSMOLOGY

Introduction to cosmology, covering the following broad topics: Introduction to the universe, introduction to general relativity, cosmological models and the Fridemann-Walker universe, thermodynamics of the early universe, particle physics of the early universe, and the formation of large-scale structure (same as PHY 554).

Prerequisites: None.
Last Offered: Fall 2015

AST 563 SEMINAR ON RADIO ASTRONOMY & INFRARED ASTRONOMY

A survey of current research reports in scientific journals on topics including research on pulsars, quasars, and radio and infrared observations of the interstellar medium.

AST 564 HIGH-ENERGY ASTROPHYSICS

A survey of current research in high energy astrophysics. Topics drawn from X-ray and gamma x-ray astrophysics, supernovae and planetary nebulae, binary accretors, astrophysics of compact objects (black holes, neutron stars, white dwarfs, plasma astrophysics, magnetic field-particle interactions, cosmic rays, astrophysical jets, active galactic nuclei. (cross-list PHY 564).

Prerequisites: AST 461, AST 462
Last Offered: Spring 2018

AST 565 FORMATION OF STARS & PLANETARY SYSTEMS

Survey of theory and multi-wavelength observations related to the formation of early evolution of stars and planets. Interstellar medium, interstellar dust, molecular clouds, protostars, T Tauri stars, circumstellar disks, pre-main sequence stellar evolution, extrasolar planets and substellar objects, constraints on the protosolar nebula from meteorites and the planets.

Prerequisites: PHY 235, PHY 227, AST 241 (AST 461 & 462 are helpful), or with instructor's permission
Last Offered: Fall 2010

AST 570 SOLAR SYSTEM DYNAMICS

Dynamics of bodies in the solar system and exo-solar systems will be explored with an emphasis on applying results to the interpretation exo-planetary systems. Topics covered will be Two body problem. Orbital elements. f and g functions. Universal variables for hyperbolic and eccentric orbits. Hamiltonian formulation. Cannonical transformations. Symplectic integrators. Hyperbolic orbits, Impulse approximations. Dynamical friction. Gravitational stirring. Three body problem. Jacobi integral. Tisser and relation. Disturbing function. Low eccentricity expansions. Secular perturbations, Mean motion resonances, resonant trapping, Dust dynamics, Yarkosky effect. Collision cascades. Debris disks. Planetesimal size distributions. Spiral density waves, Torque formulas, gap opening, planet migration, stability of N-body systems. Resonance overlap, Chaos. Tidal evolution. Planet and planetesimal formation, disk clearing, Nice model.

Prerequisites: AST 461, 462, 465.
Last Offered: Spring 2013

AST 591 PHD READINGS IN ASTROPHYSICS

Special study or work, arranged individually.

Prerequisites: Instructors permisson
Last Offered: Spring 2018

AST 593 ASTRO THEORY SEMINAR

Current theoretical topics of interest are explored in considerable detail. Topics vary from year to year and reflect research interests of staff.

Prerequisites: Instructor's permission
Last Offered: Spring 2013

AST 594 ASTRO OBSERVATIONAL SEMINAR

Current topics of observational or experimental interest are explored in considerable detail. Topics vary from year to year and reflect research interests of staff.

Prerequisites: Instructor's permission
Last Offered: Fall 2013

AST 595 PHD RESEARCH IN ASTROPHYSICS

Special topics in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Prerequisites: Instructor's permission
Last Offered: Spring 2018

AST 595A PHD RESEARCH IN ABSENTIA

Special topics in astronomy or astrophysics

Prerequisites: Instructor's permission
Last Offered: Spring 2018

AST 890 SUMMER IN RESIDENCE - MA

No description

Last Offered: Summer 2011

AST 895 CONT OF MASTERS ENROLLMENT

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

AST 899 MASTER'S DISSERTATION

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

AST 985 LEAVE OF ABSENCE

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

AST 990 SUMMER IN RESIDENCE

No description

Last Offered: Summer 2011

AST 995 CONT OF DOCTORAL ENROLLMENT

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

AST 997 DOCTORAL DISSERTATION

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

AST 999 DOCTORAL DISSERTATION

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018

AST 999A DOCT DISSERTATN IN ABSENTIA

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2018