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University Course Schedule
Astronomy 309N - Fall 2007
MWF 1:00 - 2:00 · WEL 3.502 · Unique No. 50590


J. Craig Wheeler
A theoretical astrophysicist specializing in exploding stars and related topics

Office: RLM 17.230
Hours: MWF 11-12, or by appt
Phone: (512) 471-6407

Course Website

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Bi Qing For


Amy Forestell

Office Hours
MWF 2-3 PM, or by arrangement; do not hesitate to talk to me if you have questions. My job is to help.

There will be four hour-long examinations each counting 20 percent of the grade and a comprehensive final counting another 20 percent. The exams are tentatively scheduled for 9/21, 10/19, 11/9, and 11/30. The exams will be multiple choice.

Extra Credit
Sky watch project to identify objects or constellations containing objects like supernovae and black holes that are relevant to the course (5 points added to term average).

Course Description
This is a specialized course for non-science majors that will presume some knowledge of the basic astronomical concepts presented in Astronomy 301. There will be a minimum of mathematics, but a familiarity with basic algebra and scientific notation ("powers of ten") will be helpful.

Course Content
Discussion of supernovae, neutron stars and black holes with applications to gamma-ray bursts, worm holes, determining the origin, state, and fate of the Universe, and hints of extra dimensions.

The book was written by the instructor based on many years of teaching this class. It is titled Cosmic Catastrophes: Exploding Stars, Black Holes and Mapping the Universe, Second Edition, published by Cambridge University Press.

Help Sessions
Weekly help sessions will be Thursday, 5-6 PM in RLM 15.216B to discuss class material and exams. These sessions and office hours allow a more nearly one-on-one relationship and are a valuable addition to the lecture. Another room may be scheduled before exams.


27 August 2007
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin · Austin, Texas 78712
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