ASTR 3730
SECTION 001 Fall 2016

TIME AND PLACE: TR 12:30-1:45 Duane G131
INSTRUCTOR: Webster Cash
OFFICE: Duane D245
OFFICE HOURS: TR 11-12:30; TR immediately after class
TEXT: An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics, Carroll and Ostlie,

EXAMS: There will be two in-class exams plus a final exam that will be comprehensive in nature. Final will be held Monday December 12,  1:30-4:00pm.

HOMEWORK: There will be written homework assignments on a regular basis. They will be graded and will count toward your course grade. Solutions will be distributed. Doing these problems is the core of the course. By working through the problems you will (hopefully) develop a sense of how astrophysics operates.

CONTACTING ME: I encourage everybody to come to my office hours to work through those parts of the homework that you might have had difficulty with.  Outside office hours, I am usually easiest to contact via e-mail.

COURSE GRADE: Your final grade will be based on the sum of the final exam (200 points), your two in-class exams (100 points each), and homework (150 points). Thus the maximum possible score will be 550 points. Grades will be assigned on a curve which will be adjusted based on my experience in teaching this course before.

GOALS OF THIS COURSE: I hope to impart a basic understanding of the physical principles that explain the nature of the components of the universe. I also hope to show how it is that astrophysicists can observe the heavens and deduce a great deal with relatively little information.

SPECIAL NEEDS: If, for some reason, you have a special need that is not being addressed by the way the course is being run, then please contact me.  I will be happy to accommodate reasonable requests.

MATERIAL: We will cover the physics of photon emission, and how observations are made. We will then survey the stars and their life cycles, leading into study of the Milky Way and the Interstellar Medium. The study of other galaxies and cosmology is left to the companion course 3830 in the spring.

PREPARATION: We will make extensive use of freshman level physics and calculus. Material at a higher level will be introduced and explained as needed.

Digital Devices: The only electronic devices allowed in class will be non-programmable scientific hand-held calculators. Computers only get in the way of understanding the materials.

WEB SITE: Information about the course can be found at
We will use the site extensively as the source of most of the information, including problem sets  and notes.