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Natural Sciences 102: Text, Lecture Notes, and Study Guide
In addition to the material linked below, some of the class material will be distributed via Adobe pdf files. Your computer probably already can read them, but if not you can get a reader free at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html
If your computer won't play the movies, you can download a player at http://www.real.com/player. To get the free version, which works fine, click on FREE Real Player in small print to the right top (under free games), then download the basic player on the right of the page that comes up, under the link Get RealPlayer - Free. You may want to make this player the default for all formats. Another free player (Quicktime) can be found at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/win.html if that doesn't work, at http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/quicktime73forwindows.html.
Below is the offical class syllabus. The class will also include a number of in-class exercises and also a library information-literacy research project.
Get an outline for the first set of lectures here.
What is this course all about?
How did astronomy get started?
|Jan. 18, F||Appearance of the Sky|
|Jan. 21, M||Martin Luther King Day|
|Jan. 23, W||Beginnings of Astronomy, Greek Astronomy|
The story of our gaining an understanding of the planetary motions now begins. It allows us to examine how science works, in slow motion (about 15 centuries worth).
|Jan. 25, F||Ptolemy, Medieval Astronomy, Copernicus, Tycho|
|Jan. 28, M||Kepler, Galileo, Newton|
|Jan. 30, W||Scientific Method (repeat), Physical Laws|
|Feb. 1, F||Light|
Science has built an understanding of nature and along with it, the tools to observe the Universe.
|Feb. 4, M||Spectroscopy|
|Feb. 6, W||Exam 1: review and practice|
|Get an outline for the next set of lectures here.|
|Feb. 8, F||spectroscopy breakout|
|Feb. 11, M||Modern Physics, Observatories|
We begin the story of what we have learned with these tools by looking at the origin of the Universe itself.
|Feb. 12, T||Last day to drop course with deletion of it from your records|
|Feb. 13, W||The Big Bang, The Fate of the Universe, The Start of Everything|
|Feb. 15, F||Era of Nuclei, Era of Atoms and Era of Galaxies|
Stars and galaxies are the foundation of our understanding of the Universe. Our understanding of stars starts with the sun. We then compare it with other stars.
|Feb. 18, M||The Sun|
|Feb. 20, W||Interior of the Sun|
|Feb. 22, F||Output of sun breakout|
|Feb. 25, M||Other Stars|
What happens as stars get older?
|Feb. 27, W||Evolution of Stars|
|Feb. 29, F||Deaths of Stars, Stellar Black Holes|
|Mar. 3, M||Novae and Supernovae, Supernova Remnants|
|Mar. 5, W||Exam 2: review and practice|
Get an outline for the next set of lectures here.
Galaxies are huge systems of stars, gas, dust, and dark matter.
|Mar. 7, F||The Milky Way, Discovery of Galaxies|
|Mar.10, M||Dark Matter, The Interstellar Medium|
|Mar. 12, W||Distribution of Galaxies in Space|
Galaxies have a broad variety of characteristics, including cores containing supermassive black holes that produce dramatic activity.
|Mar. 14, F||Types of Galaxy, Type of the Milky Way|
|Mar. 15 - 23||Spring Break|
|Mar. 24, M||Center of the Milky Way|
|Mar. 26, W||Active Galaxy Nuclei|
Star formation shapes the appearance of the Universe and provides the sites for planets
|Mar. 28, F||Formation of Stars, Spiral Arms|
|Mar. 31, M||Starburst Galaxies|
|Apr. 2, W||Formation of the Solar System, Overview of Solar System|
|Apr. 4, F||Exam 3: review and practice|
Get an outline for the final lectures here.
Each planet in our solar system has unique properties that provide clues to the formation of the system
|Apr. 7, M||Exploring Planets, Earth|
|Apr. 9, W||Earth|
|Apr. 11, F||The Moon, Mercury|
|Apr. 14, M||Radiation breakout session|
|Apr. 16, W||Venus|
We learn more about the solar system from its smaller members.
What makes Earth a special place for life?
|Apr. 23, W||Jupiter's Moons, Moons and Rings|
|Apr. 25, F||Pluto, Solar System Debris|
|Apr. 28, M||Long Term Climate, Habitable Zones|
Is there life "out there?"
|Apr. 30, W||Formation of Life|
|May 2, F||Advanced Life, Mass Extinctions|
|May 5, M||Emergence of Intelligence|
|May 7, W||Contacting Other Civilizations|
|May 12, 11:00am - 1:00pm||Exam 4 and Final for 11:00 class: review and practice|
|May 14, 11:00am - 1:00pm||Exam 4 and Final for 12:00 class: review and practice|