Gregory A. Shields
Office: RLM 15.224
Phone: (512) 471-1402
Office: RLM 13.134
Hours: T 5-6, W 1-2,
Phone: (512) 471-1311
Course Web Site
How did the universe begin? How did the fiery gases of the Big Bang collect into "island universes" like
our own Milky Way, even as the universe as a whole was expanding into the frigid emptiness of today?
What processes led to the formation of stars, planets, and life? Where do we go from here?
This course presents modern observations and theories of the structure and evolution of the universe.
Topics emphasized include the evidence for the Big Bang, the formation of galaxies, and the nature of quasars.
We trace the evolution of the universe from the first moment through the creation of the primeval fireball
radiation and the birth and evolution of galaxies. We examine the rich variety of observations of quasars
and the evidence for giant black holes. Recent advances will be covered, including black holes in galaxies,
the accelerating universe, and the microwave background radiation.
Mathematics will include high school algebra but no calculus.
AST 301, 302, or 303, or an equivalent descriptive introduction to astronomy of one semester