Sunteți pe pagina 1din 3

ASTRONOMY 5: The Formation and Evolution of the Universe

Spring 2002

In this course we will tour the Universe as it is seen and understood by present-day astronomers and
cosmologists. We first examine the building blocks of matter and the basic forces that shape the
Universe, from gravity on the largest scales to nuclear forces on the smallest. We then take a look
at what’s out there, exploring the inner workings of familiar objects such as stars, and examining
the evidence for more exotic objects such as black holes and dark matter. Finally we’ll discuss
how cosmologists use observations of the Universe as we see it today to understand the story of its
history from the Big Bang to the present.

Textbook: Stars, Galaxies and Cosmology: The Cosmic Perspective (2nd edition),
by J. Bennett, M. Donahue, N. Schneider and M. Voit (ISBN 0-8053-8557-6).
You can also use The Cosmic Perspective (2nd Edition) by the same authors
— it’s more expensive new, but may be cheaper used.

Recommended reading: The Whole Shebang: A State of the Universe(s) Report,

by T. Ferris

Instructors: Prof. Rachel Dewey (Lectures) (most reliable way to reach me)
415G Kerr Hall
Quinn Gray (Discussion Sections)

Discussion Sections: Tuesday, 7:30-8:30, Thimann 103A

Wednesday, 3:30-4:30pm, Thimann 103A

Office Hours: To be arranged

Or by appointment.

Course Web Page:

Course Work and Grading

The format for the course, and the grading system, is designed to provide some flexibility for
students with different interests and learning styles. The basic work for the course (quizes, final
exam, and homeworks) can be thought of as totaling 400 points, not including extra-credit and
section participation. Accumulating 350 points will guarantee a passing grade. The passing (C)
threshold may be somewhat lower than this; it won’t be higher.

More specifically, your grade/evaluation will be based on

Four quizes (60 points each).

 April 12, April 26, May 10, May 24 (all Fridays)

A final exam (300 minus your accumulated quiz points).

 Thursday June 6 12:00-3:00pm

Five homework assignments (20 points each).

 Due April 5, April 19, May 3, May 17, May 31

Attendance and participation in section (up to 50 points).

An extra-credit paper or project (up to 50 points).

A few important things to note...

The final exam is weighted on a sliding scale...

 the better you do on the quizes, the less the final counts.
 but if your quiz scores are low you can make up for it by doing well on the final.

Section attendance and participation does count in your grade/evaluation.

 If your quiz/homework grades are very good, we (the instructors) won’t hold it
against you if you skip section.
 If your quiz/homework grades are weak, attending, participating in, and being
prepared for section (or attending office hours) can have a significant positive
effect on your final grade.

It is virtually impossible to pass the course if you ignore all the quantitative work.

Outline of Course Work

3/27 - 3/29 Reading: Bennett et al., Chapters 1 and 4

Ferris, Chapter 1
Homework 1 handed out.

4/1 - 4/5 Reading: Bennett et al., Chapters 5 and 6

Homework 1 due.

4/8 - 4/12 Reading: Bennett et al., Chapters 7 and 14

Homework 2 handed out.
Quiz 1

4/15 - 4/19 Reading: Bennett et al., Chapters 15 and 16

Homework 2 due.

4/22 - 4/26 Reading: Bennett et al., Chapters 17 and S4

Homework 3 handed out.
Quiz 2

4/29 - 5/3 Reading: Bennett et al., Chapters S2 and S3

Homework 3 due.

5/6 - 5/10 Reading: Bennett et al., Chapters 18, 19 and 20

Homework 4 handed out.
Quiz 3

5/13 - 5/17 Reading: Bennett et al., Chapter 21

Ferris, Chapters 2 and 3
Homework 4 due.

5/20 - 5/24 Reading: Bennett et al., Chapter 22

Ferris, Chapters 4-6
Homework 5 handed out.
Quiz 4

5/29 - 5/31 Reading: Ferris, Chapters 7-12

Homework 5 due.