Galaxies and the Universe
- Welcome to Astronomy 358, "Galaxies and the Universe" -- an upper division course designed for majors in the physical sciences. Please make sure that you meet the Physics and Astronomy Pre-requisites before taking this class. If you are unsure, please talk to me.
- Due to the cancellation of several classes by UT as a result of winter storms, the course calendar has been updated.
- Useful quick links
- Course Outline/Calendar (Updated Mar 5/2014)
- Check out the Astronomy Picture of the Day!
- Class and Office Hours: This class meets Tuesday and Thursdays from 9.30 to 11.00 am in RLM 15.216B. The instructor is Professor Shardha Jogee and the teaching assistant (TA) is Benny Tsang. Please consult us during the office hours listed below if you have any questions and we will be glad to help.
Prof. Shardha Jogee
Th 11.00 to 12.00 or by appointment
Wed 11-12 or by appointment
- Course Description: Astronomy 358, "Galaxies and the Universe" is an upper division course designed for majors in the physical sciences. It addresses the properties, contents, origin, and evolution of galaxies; their interaction and mass assembly history; the properties of their central black holes and starbursts; and the characteristics of the early Universe. The emphasis will be on using the laws of physics to interpret observations and understand how galaxies form and evolve. I will also discuss some of the current/upcoming exciting science from observations conducted or planned with current/next-generation telecopes. We will explore the evolution of galaxies over a wide range of epochs, from the present-day out to epochs when the Universe was a mere few percent of its present age.
The class pre-requisites are two semesters of college physics (such as PHY 301/101L or 303K/103M and PHY 316/116L or 303L/103N) A previous astronomy course, such as AST 307 or AST 352K is strongly recommended: if have not taken these courses, it is your responsibiity to contact the professor or TA during the first week AND to make sure that you develop the required background knowledge by covering the astronomy background pre-requisite reading before the second week of class.
The primary course textbook is "Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology" (EAC) by Peter Schneider (Publisher: Spinger, copyright 2006). Several desk copies are in the Peridier Library (RLM 15.202) and in the PMA library (RLM, 4th floor). If you want to purchase a hardcopy, please contact the University Co-op or other local bookstores. You may also consider the purchase options below for electronic or/and hardcopy versions:
- Textbook and Reading
For additional reading, I have put the following additional books on reserve in the PMA library (RLM, 4th floor) and in the Peridier Library (RLM 15.202):
- "Galactic Astronomy" (GA) by Binney and Merrifield (Publisher: Princeton University Press, copyright 1998),
- "Galaxies in the Universe: An Introduction", by Sparke& Gallagher (Publisher: Cambridge University Press, copyright 2000)
Additional material not present in the textbook will be posted in the section "Selected Material from Lectures & Assignments " as the class proceeds.
The course outline/calendar provides an approximate sequencing of topics to be covered in class. The online calendar will be regularly updated, as needed. Note that as outlined in the Memo to Undergraduate Astronomy Students regarding Astronomy Courses , the professor is a professional astronomer who has research responsibilities and may be occasionally on travel in order to conduct research, present colloquia, and attend scientific meetings. In such cases, there may be a schedule change and an appropriate replacement lecture or other assignment will be scheduled.
- Course Calendar
Your grades will be posted online on Blackboard I strongly recommend that you attend classes as assignments are primarily based on the lectures and your in-class participation count directly toward your final grade. The final grade will consist of
- Course Grade
45% HomeworksWhen converting your final numerical scores to letter grades, I will use the scheme below or one that is slightly more lenient.
20% Midterm exam
20% End-of-term exam
15% In-class attendance, participation and activities (e.g., quizzes)
91% to 100%
86% to 90%
81% to 85%
76% to 80%
71% to 75%
66% to 70%
61% to 65%
56% to 60%
51% to 55%
46% to 50%
41% to 45%
0% to 40%
- Class Policies
(1) Please turn off all cell phones before the start of class.
(2) Late homeworks will be accepted for partial credit only if you have been granted an extension prior to the due date.
(3) We will accept requests for correction or re-grade of an assignment (homework, exam or quiz), at latest two weeks after it is handed back to you.
(4) There will be no final comprehensive exam.
(5) There will be makeup exams only for students having a valid excuse and an official note from UT for the specific date and time of the missed exam. Makeup exams may be based on any part of the course.
(6) You are encouraged to study with other students, but you must write up your own homework, exams, and quizzes. Cheating will be severely punished: if you copy someone's homework/quiz/exam or let someone copy yours, both of you will receive zero credit, and I will consider filing a report to the Dean of Students.
(7) Plagiarism: Scholastic dishonesty, in particular any plagiarism, will be prosecuted in accordance with the university guidelines. In simplest terms, plagiarism occurs if you represent as your own work any material that was obtained from another source, regardless how or where you acquired it. Please read the description from the Dean of Students office on what constitutes plagiarism in its various forms. In particular, have a careful look at "paraphrasing".
(8) Disabilities: Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities (phone = 512-471-6259).
It is important that you attend lectures as the main notes, explanations, and demos will be covered only in class where in-class activities will count toward the final grade. The material below only includes a small fraction of the lectures, such as figures and plots.
- Astronomy Prequisite material that you need to know (covered in AST 307/352K)
- List of topics to review and example questions to study and figures and plots ilustrating the key concepts
- Essential background material, including:
- Electromagnetic Radiation; Radiative Transfer; Blackbody Radiation; The Magnitude Scale.
These extracts are based on Appendix A-C of "Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology"(EAC)by Peter Schneider (Publisher: Spinger, copyright 2006)]
- Properties of Stars; HR Diagram ; Structure, Evolution and Death of Stars.
- Due to past delays by the UT co-op and Springer in getting the primary course textbook "Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology" (EAC) by Peter Schneider (Publisher: Spinger, copyright 2006) on time, we are providing the scanned versions of first few chapters:
- Extracts from lectures on Dark Matter and Dark Energy (updated Mar 24/2014)
- "The moment of truth for WIMP dark matter" by Gianfranco Bertone (2010, Nature)
- Fun sidenote: On the Discovery of the Higgs-Like Boson in July 2012 by LHC!
- Science Magazine 2012 Discovery of the Year: The Discovery of the Higgs Boson by Adrian Cho (Science 21 December 2012: 1524-1525)
- "A New Boson with a Mass of 125 GeV Observed with the CMS Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider" by the CMS Collaboration (Science, 21 December 2012, 1569-1575)
- Chasing the Higgs Boson by Dennis Overbye (popular-level NYT article on Mar 15/2013)
- Interactive video for Chasing the Higgs Boson (from popular-level NYT article on Mar 15/2013)
- Extracts from lectures on Black Holes in Galaxies (Apr 3/2014)
- Review on the Fueling and Evolution of Black Holes by S. Jogee 2006, Chapter 6, AGN Physics on All Scales
- An over-massive black hole in the compact lenticular galaxy NGC 1277 by van den Bosch et al. 2012, Nature, 491, 729
- Assignment 5: Talks by Student Teams
In this assignment you will work in teams and each team will give a presentation to the class on "Probing Galaxy Evolultion With Cutting-Edge New and Next-Generation Facilities", such as the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), the Extended Very Large Array (EVLA), the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and Cerro Chajnantor Atacama Telescope (CCAT). This should be a lot of fun for everyone and give you a chance to think about the frontiers in galaxy evolution and the exciting discoveries that might await us in the next decade!
- Assignment 5: This file decribes the talk topics, team assignment, materials due, and schedule of talks.
- The Astronomy and Astrophysics 2010 decadal survey, "New Worlds, New Horizons": This booklet summarizes the scientific program recommended in the astronomy and astrophysics decadal survey, New Worlds, New Horizons, which has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the Universe in the coming decade. It also presents associated recommendations for new space-based and ground-based facilities needed to maintain and strengthen America's role in the field of astronomy.
- Lecture on discussion of concepts relevant for student talks (Apr 10/2014) on "Probing Galaxy Evolultion With Cutting-Edge New and Next-Generation Facilities"
- NED (NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database) (with links to images and catalogs, such as RC3, ESO, UGC)
- Notes on how to convert coded revised Hubble types in RC3
- Original table from RC2 on how to convert coded revised Hubble types in RC3
- Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies (Halton Arp, 1966; Images and data on 338 peculiar galaxies).
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