This course provides an introduction to the physical principles describing the formation and evolution of stars and their planetary companions. Topics include thermal radiation and stellar spectra; telescopes; energy generation in stars; stellar evolution; orbital dynamics; the Solar system; and exoplanets. This course includes an observational component: students will determine the distance to the Sun, and use the Clay Telescope atop the Science Center to study stellar evolution and detect exoplanets.
This course will introduce extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology. We will begin with the fundamentals of cosmology, cosmological dynamics, and galactic dynamics, then explore the astrophysics of galaxies using those tools.
This mini-seminar will focus on issues related to ethics and practice in astronomy. The course will also include topics in the philosophy of science, issues related to the status of minorities and women in the physical sciences, and a variety of “nuts and bolts” aspects of being a professional scientist.
This tutorial introduces students to research at the forefront of astrophysics, and provides opportunities for students to meet with research scientists and individuals active in science policy, education, and journalism. Students meet weekly for a lecture and discussion over dinner with a guest speaker, preceded by a reading and a preparatory seminar. Students will be mentored throughout the term on a research project of their choosing. The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics is home to one of the largest groups of astronomers in the world, providing extensive opportunities for
The universe explained. Fundamental concepts of modern cosmology (Big Bang, dark matter, curved space, black holes, star and galaxy formation), the basic physics underlying them, and their scientific development. Intended for non-science majors.
Structure and evolutionary histories of nearby galaxies. Stellar populations, galactic dynamics, dark matter, galactic structure and mass distributions. Peculiar galaxies and starbursting galaxies. Structure and content of the Milky Way. Evolution of density perturbations in the early universe. Hierarchical clustering model for galaxy formation and evolution.
Survey of modern physical cosmology, including Newtonian cosmology, curved space-times, observational tests of cosmology, the early universe, inflation, nucleosynthesis, dark matter, and the formation of structure in the universe.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 60 Garden St., MS-19Cambridge, MA 02138Office P-321617-495-7005cconroy - at - cfa.harvard.edu