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
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 25 percent of the grade. The exams are tentatively scheduled for
2/8, 2/29, 4/11, and 5/2. The exams will be multiple choice.
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).
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.
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 (see next page).
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.