Astronomy 309N - Spring 2009
TTh 12:30-2:00 · WEL 3.502 · Unique No. 48500
T-Th 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 2/12, 3/12, 4/16 and 5/7. 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). Participate in one function related to the International Year of Astronomy. Questions on exams about astronomy in the news.
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 link to schedule).
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.