David L. Lambert
Office: RLM 15.218
Phone: (512) 471-7438
A list of useful references will be distributed at the first class and, as appropriate, at subsequent classes.
Exams and Grading
I expect as graduate students that grades not be the obsession that they are with too many undergraduates
at this place. Your primary goal should be to extend your knowledge into new areas, especially into topics
of interest to YOU. This necessarily means developing greater depth in some fields than in others. This
kind of development is antithetical to the normal concept of grades.
But (!) this is a core course providing coverage of material that will be of use to you almost independent
of your field of research interests. Therefore, I will keep grades. These will be based on problem sets
and a final examination. Also, I may choose to assign a topic to be discussed either in written form as a
short paper or in oral form as a short presentation in class.
I realize that our backgrounds are diverse. If you have not previously covered some
of the auxiliary topics - statistical physics, atomic and molecular spectroscopy, basic astronomy, and the
like - speak up. I can either cover the material or direct you to books and articles, many of which I have
personally found useful. In any case, I would urge you to READ widely. Astronomy is such a beautiful
subject that what seems to you a digression today may well be essential tomorrow.