# Graduate Program | All Courses

## Astronomy 420/520/G&G 538a: Computational Methods for Astrophysics and Geophysics

The analytic, numerical, and computational tools necessary for effective research in astrophysics and related disciplines. Topics include the numerical solution of differential equations, spectral methods, and Monte Carlo simulations. Applications to common astrophysical problems including fluid dynamics and N-body simulations. Prerequisites: ASTR 320, MATH 120, 222 or 225, and 246.

## Astronomy 510: Stellar Populations

The stellar populations of our galaxy and galaxies of the Local Group. Topics include the properties of stars and star clusters, stellar evolution, and the structure and evolution of our galaxy. Taught in alternate years. Prerequisites: MATH 120, PHYS 201, and one Astronomy course numbered above 200.

## Astronomy 518: Stellar Dynamics

The dynamics and evolution of star clusters; structure and dynamics of our galaxy; theories of spiral structure, dynamical evolution of galaxies. Prerequisites: PHYS 201b and MATH 246a or b or equivalents; ASTR 310a.

## Astronomy 530: Galaxies

This course provides the student with a survey of the content, structure, dynamics, formation and evolution of galaxies. After a detailed overview of the various components of galaxies (disk/spheroid, stars, gas, dark matter, supermassive black holes), their statistical properties (luminosity function, size distribution, color distribution, metallicity distribution), and the corresponding scaling relations, the course focusses on the physical processes underlying galaxy formation and evolution. Topics include Newtonian perturbation theory, the spherical collapse model, formation and structure of dark matter haloes (including Press-Schechter theory), the virial theorem, cooling processes, and an expose of current topics in galaxy formation and evolution. The course also includes a detailed treatment of statistical tools used to describe the large scale distribution of galaxies (n-point correlation functions, galaxy power spectra, counts-in-cells, etc.) and introduces the student to the concepts of galaxy bias and halo occupation modeling. Prerequisites: MATH 120, PHYS 201, and one Astronomy course numbered above 200.

## Astronomy 540: Radiative Processes in Astrophysics and Geophysics

## Astronomy 550: Stellar Astrophysics

The physics of stellar atmospheres and interiors. Topics include the basic equations of stellar structure, nuclear processes, stellar evolution, white dwarfs, and neutron stars. Taught in alternate years. Prerequisites: MATH 120 and PHYS 201 or equivalents.

## Astronomy 555: Observational Astronomy

Optics for astronomers. Design and use of optical telescopes, photometers, spectrographs, and detectors for astronomical observations. Introduction to error analysis, concepts of signal-to-noise, and the reduction and analysis of photometric and spectroscopic observations. Prerequisites: Previous experience with computer programming recommended. Prerequisite: one astronomy course numbered above 200, or permission of instructor.

## Astronomy 560: Interstellar Matter and Star Formation

Observations of interstellar matter at optical, infrared, radio, and X-ray wavelengths. Dynamics and evolution of the interstellar medium including interactions between stars and interstellar matter. Molecular clouds and processes of star formation. Prerequisites: MATH 120 and PHYS 201 or equivalents.

## Astronomy 565: The Evolving Universe

Overview of cosmic history from the formation of the first star to the present day, focusing on direct observations of the high-redshift universe. Prerequisites: MATH 120a or b, PHYS 201b, and one astronomy course numbered above 200.

## Astronomy 570: High Energy Astrophysics

A survey of current topics in high-energy astrophysics, including accreting black hole and neutron star systems in our galaxy, pulsars, active galactic nuclei and relativistic jets, gamma-ray bursts, and ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. The basic physical processes underlying the observed high-energy phenomena are also covered.

## Astronomy 575/375bG: Exoplanets

In recent years hundreds of exoplanets have been discovered orbiting around other stars. This course will review the physics of planetary orbits and current exoplanet detection techniques, recent progress in characterizing exoplanet interiors and atmospheres, and the implications of these findings for our understanding of planet formation and evolution. Prerequisites: MATH 120 and PHYS 201 or the equivalents, and one astronomy course numbered above 200.

## Astronomy 580: Research

## Astronomy 585: Introduction to Radio Astronomy

Introduction to the theory and techniques of radio astronomy, including radio emission mechanisms, propagation effects, antenna theory, interferometry, and spectroscopy. Discussion of specific topics such as Jupiter, radio stars, molecular clouds, radio galaxies, ETI, and the microwave background. Includes observational exercises with a small radio telescope. Prerequisites: MATH 120 and PHYS 201 or equivalents

## Astronomy 590: Solar Physics

This course presents a detailed description of the structure of the Sun and its atmosphere and is aimed to give students a good understanding of the underlying physical processes. Topics to be covered include a discussion of the standard solar model, solar atmospheres, solar oscillations, solar magnetic fields, chromosphere and corona, as well as solar winds and eruptions. Particular attention is paid to the solar magnetic cycle since it can affect us on Earth.

## Astronomy 600: Cosmology

A comprehensive introduction to cosmology at the graduate level. The standard paradigm for the formation, growth, and evolution of structure in the Universe is covered in detail. The course does not assume prior knowledge of general relativity.

## Astronomy 666: Statistical Thermodynamics for Astrophysics and Geophysics

Classical thermodynamics is derived from statistical thermodynamics. We then develop kinetics, transport theory, and reciprocity from the linear thermodynamics of irreversible processes. Emphasis is placed on phase transitions, including novel states of matter, nucleation theory, and the thermodynamics of atmospheres. We explore phenomena that are of direct relevance to problems in astrophysical settings, atmospheres, oceans, and the Earth's interior. No quantum mechanics is necessary as a prerequisite.

## Astronomy 705: Research Seminar in Stellar Populations

## Astronomy 710: Professional Seminar

A weekly seminar covering science and professional issues Astronomy.

## Astronomy 715: Research Seminar in High Energy Astrophysics

## Astronomy 720: Research Seminar in Solar Physics

## Astronomy 725: "Topics in High Energy Astrophysics: Accretion and Jets"

This is a reading and discussion course on topics related to accretion and outflows from black holes, large and small. Each week will have readings assigned, and participants are asked to submit a discussion topic, and preliminary remarks on that topic, by noon on Wednesday. Students taking the course for a grade will also complete two brief reviews of recent papers.

Image Credits: (header) Carolin Cardamone

# At a Glance

Astronomy 420/520/G&G 538a: | Computational Methods for Astrophysics and Geophysics |

Astronomy 510: | Stellar Populations |

Astronomy 518: | Stellar Dynamics |

Astronomy 530: | Galaxies |

Astronomy 540: | Radiative Processes in Astrophysics and Geophysics |

Astronomy 550: | Stellar Astrophysics |

Astronomy 555: | Observational Astronomy |

Astronomy 560: | Interstellar Matter and Star Formation |

Astronomy 565: | The Evolving Universe |

Astronomy 570: | High Energy Astrophysics |

Astronomy 575/375bG: | Exoplanets |

Astronomy 580: | Research |

Astronomy 585: | Introduction to Radio Astronomy |

Astronomy 590: | Solar Physics |

Astronomy 600: | Cosmology |

Astronomy 666: | Statistical Thermodynamics for Astrophysics and Geophysics |

Astronomy 705: | Research Seminar in Stellar Populations |

Astronomy 710: | Professional Seminar |

Astronomy 715: | Research Seminar in High Energy Astrophysics |

Astronomy 720: | Research Seminar in Solar Physics |

Astronomy 725: | "Topics in High Energy Astrophysics: Accretion and Jets" |

## Key

- = Offered this Fall Semester
- = Offered this Spring Semester