Astro 4006 - Physical Astronomy (Olmi)



This course serves as an overview of modern astronomy and as an introduction to basic astrophysical techniques. The goal is to provide the broad physical foundation, necessary to begin research in astronomy and astrophysics. Among the topics covered are: telescopes and observational methods; the physics of stars and stellar evolution; the physics of the interstellar medium. The course also covers some basic physical topics such as: black body theory and spectroscopy.


After completing this course the student will be familiar with a broad range of astrophysical phenomena and methods, with some of mathematical physics applied to them. The student should be able to investigate actual astronomical problems with some basic physics and be roughly prepared to begin a directed research program in astronomy.


Grading is based on three exams, with each exam having a 25% weight, plus three quiz with a total weight of 25%. Problems in the exams and quiz will be based on examples encountered in class.