Planck sky image

ASTR 2010 (Modern Cosmology)
Spr 2016 Regular Section (Tu-Th: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm)

Instructor: Prof Michael Shull

Teaching Assistant: Joshua Moloney
Office Hours: Mon (1:30-2:30 pm) and Tues (3-4 pm)

Class Meeting Times: Tu-Th (11:00 am - 12:15 pm)
in Duane G130 (Physics & Astrophysics Building)

Midterm Exams: In Class (Feb 2, Mar 15, Apr 14)
Final Exam: Wednesday May 4, 2016 (1:30 - 4:00 pm)

Observing Nights (Jan 19, Jan 27, Feb 10, Feb 16, Mar 10, Mar 31)

Course Information

Course Calendar and Syllabus

Instructor/TA: Contact Information

ASTR 2010 is an introductory course on the Arts & Sciences Core Curriculum, covering the origin, evolution, and structure of the Universe. Designed for non-science majors, this class has no University prerequisites. However, some knowledge of mathematical reasoning (proportional scaling and algebra) is needed, since quantitative work is required. There will be regular homework, writing assignments, and tests. We will discuss theories for how the Universe began (Big Bang, Inflation) and the intertwined roles of spacetime and gravity. Early classes will present an overview of classical physics and astrophysics (forces, energy, matter, light) applied to stars and galaxies. Later, we will introduce concepts of modern physics (relativity and quantum mechanics) as they relate to photons, neutrinos, protons, neutrons, and other sub-atomic particles. We will discuss the evidence for what we call "dark matter and dark energy". We will connect cosmology to our culture and philosophy, as they shape ideas of the cosmos.