WMAP sky image

Spring 2009: ASTR 2010
Modern Cosmology

Instructor: Professor Michael Shull
Teaching Assistant: Elizabeth Beckel

Class Meeting Times: Tu-Th (9:30 - 10:45 am)
Duane G1B-20 (Duane Physics & Astrophysics)

Final: Saturday May 2, 2009 (4:30 - 7:00 pm)

Course information

Course 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 does not require any University prerequisite. Some knowledge of mathematical reasoning (proportional scaling and algebra) is needed, since quantitative work is required. We will start by addressing the scientific method and discussing some traditional theories for how the Universe began. I will give an overview of classical physics and astrophysics (forces, energy, matter, light). Later in the term, we will introduce concepts of modern physics (relativity and quantum mechanics) and discuss the intertwined roles of space and time. With this background, we will move into the theory of modern cosmology, the expansion of the universe, dark matter, and dark energy. Throughout the class, we will spend time relating cosmology to our culture and philosophy, as they shape our ideas of the cosmos.