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University Course Schedule
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Astronomy 393F - Spring 2005
MWF 11:00 - 12:00 · RLM 15.216B · Unique No. 46885


Dr. Harriet Dinerstein

Office: RLM 16.324
Hours: TBA
Phone: (512) 471-3449

Course Website

star formation region DR6

This syllabus has been condensed for the web. Please see the class handout for the full syllabus.

Subject Matter
AST 393F provides a broad overview of the field of interstellar matter (ISM). It is intended both for students whose research is in this field, and also for those working in other fields which are affected by properties of the ISM. (Note that this applies to virtually all fields of astronomy, since we generally observe objects both inside our Galaxy and extragalactic sources through foreground columns of interstellar gas and dust!)

The primary source material will be the instructor's course notes, which are presently in hand-written form but are in the process of being converted to type-set format. There are also several particularly useful resource books (see below). You may already own some of these, may wish to purchase your own copies (but look them over first!), or can consult the copies on reserve in the Peridier library. Please be considerate of your fellow students, and do not remove these books, except to read them in the library or to duplicate certain sections.

Lyman Spitzer, Physical Processes in the ISM (1978). The classic textbook on the physics of the ISM, but not very recent. It can be purchased as a paperback, and/or used.

J.E. Dyson & R.A. Williams, The Physics of the Interstellar Medium, 2nd ed. (1997). We will mainly cover chs. 2-5. This book is available on-line as an e-Book through the UT library website.

Donald E. Osterbrock, Astrophysics of Gaseous Nebulae and Active Galactic Nuclei, 2nd ed. (1989). The standard reference book on H II regions. We'll only spend about two weeks on this topic in Ast 393F.

Michael A. Dopita & Ralph S. Sutherland, Astrophysics of the Diffuse Universe (2003). This recent book appears to be intended as a replacement for Spitzer's Physical Processes.

The coursework will include problem sets, a couple of exams, and a special topic chosen by you (and approved by the instructor) on which you will give an oral presentation and prepare written notes to be distributed to the class. The in-class exams will be "open equations."

Grading Basis

Homework: about 4 or 5 problem sets - 20%
Hour exams: two in-class exams, 20% each - 40%
Special Topic: presentation & prepared notes - 25%
Final take-home exam/problem set - 15%

(The last item replaces a final exam which would have been held at 2 PM on Sat., May 14.)

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17 January 2005
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin · Austin, Texas 78712
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