College Of Arts And Sciences | Gravity, the Great Attactor: Evolution of Planets, Stars, and Galaxies
E105 | 0207 | Lugger, P


The force of gravity acting between all particles in the universe
causes the formation and evolution of planets, stars, galaxies, and
other astrophysical systems. This course will focus on current
astrophysical approaches to understanding the past history, present
nature, and future lives and deaths of these objects. The historical
context of modern science will be considered. The role of the
scientific method in solving astrophysical problems will be
emphasized. Students will be encouraged to develop the reasoning
skills used by scientists in formulating theories based on
observational data, making predictions, and testing and revising
their models. The material covered will reflect the fact that modern
astronomy is a quantitative physical science. While the approach will
not be overly mathematical, some high school-level algebra and
scientific notation will be used. Problem solving skills will be
developed through in-class exercises, homework assignments, a short
paper, and a computer exercise. There will be three in-class midterm
exams, a comprehensive final exam, and eight in-class quizzes.
Readings will include the astronomy textbook and articles from
Scientific American, Sky and Telescope, Astronomy, and Discover.