Introduction to the Course

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Transcript Introduction to the Course

Astro 4: Stars, Galaxies,
and the Universe
*Rick Nolthenius
Call me “Rick”.
*Office: 706a 479-6506
*email: [email protected]
*visit my extremely excellent website!
Textbook – “The Cosmic
Perspective – Stars, Galaxies,
Cosmology” – Bennett,
Donahue, Schneider, and
Voit; 4th or later editions
• ~latest edition $90 new in the
bookstore. Buy used earlier editions
and save!
• I will try to get one copy on reserve
in the library
• 6 mult. choice quizzes based on my lectures, with
help from the textbook.
- ~10 questions each
- closed notes
• ~2 video quizzes; after seeing ~45 min video
program. Take notes and use them for your mult.
choice quiz, about 20 questions each
• Final Exam: 50 mult. choice questions. You may
have a single 8x10 sheet of paper crammed with all
the notes you can muster!
• Your two lowest scores will be dropped. That
includes no-shows
• Because…No make-ups
• Extra Credit possibilities
• Buy 10 green narrow scantron sheets from the
book store. $3. Cheap! Keep them in your
notebook along with a pencil.
What will We Do in Astro 4?
• The nature of science, logic, and the principles of clear
thinking. My own “Chapter 0” on the principles of clear thinking
and scientific method
• Some basic ideas: Forces, Gravity, the nature of light and
• The sun, our up-close look at a typical star
• Then to boldly go, on to the stars! How they’re born, their
lives, their deaths, and how death gives rise to new life
• Violence in Space! Supernovae, black holes, gamma ray bursts
• Then galaxies and the supermassive black holes at their heart
• The Big Bang origin of the Universe. Inflation, Dark Matter,
Dark Energy
• The idea of the MultiVerse, the Anthropic principle and the
intimate connection between alternate universes and the nature
of life
• I’ll stress the observational facts and how we use scientific
inference to arrive at ideas, and to test them to arrive at our
current theories of the Universe. Exams will stress getting a
picture of processes and the ‘why’ behind what we see, not so
much on memorized factoids.
We’ll learn clear thinking
The discovery of forces, gravity, and light
An Intro to Relativity
The Sun – our close up look at a star
Sun in h-alpha
The Birth of Stars in Interstellar Clouds
Star birth bubble
Star clusters and stellar evolution
Stars, clusters
The death of stars
We’re doomed
Supernovae and Stellar death and birth
Star infall to bh
Our Milky Way Galaxy
Galaxy Evolution
Quasar gallery
Dark Matter – What it is not, and might be
Dark Energy and the Origin of the Universe
The existence of Life and What that
Says about the Nature of the Universe
I want to believe