Physics and Astronomy
103 Astronomy (3:3:0). Not for physics majors. Introduction to origin of life, Earth, planets and sun, stars, galaxies, quasars, nature of space radiation, and general theory of relativity.
111 Introduction to Modern Astronomy I (3:3:0). ASTR 111, 112, 113, 114 can be used to fulfill the eight-hour lab science requirement; not for physics majors. Topics include history of astronomy from prehistory to the present, evolution of the solar system, properties of the planets, scientific method, critical thinking, the nature of light, and the principles of telescope design.
112 Introduction to Modern Astronomy Lab I (1:0:3). Corequisite: ASTR 111. Laboratory portion of two-semester introductory astronomy sequence.
113 Introduction to Modern Astronomy II (3:3:0). Topics include electromagnetic radiation, stellar evolution, the interstellar medium, galaxies, cosmology, the scientific method, and critical thinking.
114 Introduction to Modern Astronomy Lab II (1:0:3). Corequisite: ASTR 113. Laboratory portion of two-semester introductory astronomy sequence.
201 Astrobiology (3:3:0). Prerequisites: MATH 113 and PHYS 160. Provides a physical science perspective on the origin and evolution of life on Earth and how life, in turn, has significantly influenced the evolution of Earth. Topics include the origin of Earth, mechanisms and sites for the origin of life, the co-evolution of life and Earth's atmosphere, habitability of planets, and the search for extraterrestrial life.
228 Foundations of Cosmological Thought (3:3:0). Examines the scientific, historical, and philosophical foundations and development of cosmological thought from antiquity to the present. Emphasizes a qualitative understanding of the development of cosmology concluding with the present concept of the origin and evolution of the universe. No advanced background in mathematics or the natural sciences is required.
328/PHYS 328 Introduction to Astrophysics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: PHYS 262 and MATH 214. Topics include physical concepts; magnitudes of stars; Hertzsprung-Russell diagram; stellar radiation; stellar structure and stellar evolution; white dwarfs, red giants, supernovas, neutron stars, and black holes; interstellar matter, dust, and molecules; cosmic rays and magnetic fields; galactic structure, galaxies, quasars, and intergalactic matter; high energy astrophysics, cosmology, and general relativity; and models of the universe.
390 Topics in Astronomy (1-4:1-4:0). Selected topics in astronomy not covered in fixed content courses. May not be included for credit by physics majors within the 45 hours of physics courses required for the BS degree or within the 31 hours of physics courses required for the BA degree.
401 Computer Simulation in Astronomy (3:3:0). Prerequisites: MATH 213 and ASTR 328. Techniques and methods used to simulate astronomical phenomena using a computer. Examples taken from a wide variety of astronomical phenomena, including radiation transfer in astrophysical objects, self-gravitating systems, hydrodynamics, and stellar models. Emphasis on hands-on projects.
403 Planetary Sciences (3:3:0). Prerequisites: MATH 213 and PHYS 160. Introduction to the physics and chemistry of planets and their natural satellites, asteroids, and comets. Topics include the history of the solar system; the origin and evolution of the planets, their internal structure, their atmospheres; and analytical techniques used in their remote and in situ study.
404 Galactic Astronomy (3:3:0). Prerequisites: MATH 214, ASTR 328, and PHYS 308. Comprehensive introduction to the observational and theoretical aspects of the study of galaxies. Topics include our own galaxy, normal galaxies and their hierarchical structures (groups and clusters), star forming and active galaxies, and colliding galaxies.
408 Senior Research (3:3:0). Prerequisites: 15 credits of ASTR courses. A student may receive no more than 6 credits of ASTR 408 and 409. Independent work under the guidance of a faculty member on a research project in experimental, observational, or theoretical astronomy. A written report on the project is required. May be taken twice with permission of the department.
409 Astronomy Internship (3:3:0). Prerequisites: 75 credits, 15 ASTR credits, and permission of department. See department for other requirements and application procedure prior to enrollment. A student may receive no more that 6 credits of ASTR 408 and 409. On-the-job experience for astronomy majors in industry or government laboratories, including summer research programs. Students work in the areas of observational, experimental, or theoretical astronomy and prepare a written report at the end of the internship.
428/PHYS 428 Relativity and Cosmology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: MATH 214 or306; PHYS 303, 305, and 262; or permission of instructor. Special relativity; four-dimensional space-time; general relativity; non-Euclidean geometries, geodesics, and field equations; tests of general theory of relativity; black holes; cosmology; models of the universe; remnant blackbody radiation; big bang cosmology; thermodynamics; and the universe.
490 Astronomy Capstone (3:3:0). Prerequisites: Completion of ASTR core courses or concurrent enrollment in final core courses. Capstone course designed to provide students with a learning experience, integrating what they have learned in their previous astronomy courses with selected readings from current scientific papers and with an opportunity to effectively present that synthesis. Emphasis on student participation and student-led class discussions. Required of all astronomy majors.
530/CSI 661 Astrophysics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: PHYS 303, 305, 308; MATH 214. Survey of contemporary astro physics. Topics include physical concepts, stellar spectra, Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, stellar atmospheres, stellar structure, interstellar matter, stellar evolution, high-energy phenomena, hydrodynamical processes in astrophysics, accretion disk formation, and shock formation.
535/CSI 660 Space Instrumentation and Exploration (3:3:0). Prerequisites:PHYS 262 and MATH 213. Survey of the instruments, devices, and methods used for space and planetary exploration. Remote sensing of Earth and other solar system bodies. Planned manned and unmanned missions by the United States and other countries.
761/CSI 761 N-Body Methods and Particle Simulations (3:3:0). Prerequisites: PHYS 613 and CSI 717, or permission of instructor. Study of particle methods as a tool in solving a variety of physical systems. Study and development of the numerical results and visualization of these results in complex physical systems are emphasized. Applications and projects include stellar and galaxy dynamics, smoothed particle hydrodynamics, plasma simulations, and semiconductor device theory. Algorithms on parallel and vectorized systems are included.
764/CSI 764 Computational Astrophysics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: ASTR 530 or permission of instructor. Study of statistical mechanics concepts important in astrophysics. Presentation of unified approach to particle acceleration and interaction theory based on analytical and numerical analysis of Boltzmann and Liouville equations. Discussion of computational methods relevant for particle transport problems, with emphasis on Fokker-Planck and Monte-Carlo solution techniques. Applications from space sciences include studies of cosmic ray acceleration, photon comptonization, particle transport in the near-earth environment, energy transport in stellar atmospheres, and self-gravitating system dynamics.
765/CSI 765 High-Energy and Accretion Astrophysics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: PHYS 502, 513, ASTR 530, or permission of instructor. Overview of the field of atomic and nuclear physics, including nuclear reactions of use to high-energy astrophysics. Radiation processes in cosmic plasmas emphasizing quantum mechanical calculations; stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis; computational models of stellar evolution; binary stars and accretion disks; numerical models of the structure of accretion disks; compact stars, white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes; acceleration processes and cosmic rays; interstellar medium and propagation of cosmic rays; high-energy processes in the center of galaxies; and ground- and space-based techniques and observations are discussed.
766/CSI 766 Relativity and Cosmology (3:3:0). Formerly PHYS 531. Prerequisites: ASTR 530 and MATH 314, or permission of instructor. Special relativity, four-dimensional space-time, general relativity, non-Euclidean geometries, geodesic and field equations, test of general relativity theory, black holes, cosmic background radiation, thermodynamic considerations in cosmology, and cosmological models.
769/CSI 769 Topics in Space Sciences (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Selected topics in space sciences not covered in fixed-content space sciences courses. May be repeated for credit as needed.