Astronomy Courses Added 2016-17


Astronomy 215hf  Topics in Contemporary Astrophysics (Edo Berger and Faculty of the Department)

This full-year half-course will cover a broad range of contemporary topics in observational and theoretical astrophysics through a set of 10-12 two-week modules taught by members of the Astronomy Department faculty. The course will meet twice per week, and each module will be comprised of a stand-alone topic with a single homework assignment. Enrolled students will be required to sign up for the full year and attend half of the offered modules.
Prerequisite: This course is open to all astronomy graduate students.

Astronomy 231 Practical Optics for Astronomers (Andrew Szentgyorgyi) 

Virtually all astronomical data is acquired with optical systems. The primary goal of this course is to familiarize consumers of astronomical data with the fundamental physical principles that underlie the instruments that they use to gather data, as well as provide insight into the engineering constraints that bound the capabilities of available instruments. Topics will include first order optical design principles, the design of telescopes, cameras and spectrographs, as well basic optical engineering principles and computer aided design.

Astronomy 253  Plasma Astrophysics (Nicholas Murphy)

This course provides an introduction to plasma physics and plasma processes in an astrophysical context. Topics include charged particle motions, kinetic theory, magnetohydrodynamics, waves, instabilities, dynamos, shocks, particle acceleration, and magnetic reconnection. Specific applications may include solar and stellar coronae (including flares), interplanetary space plasmas, magnetized accretion disks, cosmic rays, galactic dynamos, and interstellar turbulence.


Astronomy 305 Origins of Life Seminar (Dimitar Sasselov)

This course covers a broad range of contemporary topics in origins of life research through a set of 10 two-week modules taught by members of the Origins of Life Initiative faculty.