ASTR_1120_syllabus_fall_2008

ASTR_1120_syllabus_fall_2008 - ASTR 1120-001 & 1120-880...

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ASTR 1120-001 & 1120-880 General Astronomy: Stars and Galaxies T, Th 11:00-12:15, G1B30 Fall 2008 Instructor Prof. Nils Halverson Office: Room C329B, Duane Physics Phone 303-492-0315 Email: nils.halverson@colorado.edu Office Hours: T, Th 12:30-1:30 & by appointment Teaching Assistant Abhishek Keshav Office: Room D1B31, Duane Physics Phone 720-308-3695 Email: keshav@colorado.edu Office Hours: M, W 11-12 & by appointment Course webpages are accessible via CULearn using your CU login name and IdentiKey password. Log on at https://culearn.colorado.edu . To download this syllabus, see http://origins.colorado.edu/~nils/courses/astr1120_2008/ Important Dates Aug 26: First day of class Sep 23: In-class midterm exam 1 Oct 3: Last day to inform me if you need to reschedule final exam date Oct 23: In-class midterm exam 2 Nov 24-28: Fall break, no classes Nov 20: In-class midterm exam 3 Dec 4: Homework N (observing/public lecture/astro in the news) due Dec 11: Last day of classes Dec 16: Final Exam (7:30 AM - 10:00 AM G1B30) Course Goals As with any science course, learn critical thinking skills, in particular how to think, reason, and argue scientifically, using logic, observation, and evidence Understand how we know what we know about the universe, and what we don’t yet know – the process of scientific discovery Gain knowledge and appreciation of the scope, scale, and phenomena of the physical universe ASTR_1120_syllabus_fall_2008.doc 1
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Course Description The course is organized around three questions: What is a star’s life cycle? What is a galaxy’s life cycle? What is the Universe’s life cycle? We will discuss what astronomers know today about the answers to each of these questions. More broadly, I hope to convince you that, via a combination of careful observation and theory, science allows us to confidently answer at least some questions that lie far outside the realm of what we experience in everyday life. Prerequisites No formal prerequisites. ASTR 1120 and 1110 (or 1010) may be taken in either order to satisfy core curriculum requirement in natural science. We will make extensive use of simple algebra and scientific notation. Class Format The class will consist of lectures, in-class discussion, and some in-class projects. I will actively encourage you to voice your ideas and questions in class. Textbook The Cosmic Perspective, 5 th Edition by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider and Voit (required). I will assign regular readings from this book. If you buy an earlier edition, it is your responsibility to make sure homework problems assigned are the same as in the 5 th edition. We will not be using the astronomy media workbook. Mastering Astronomy - Access to the online material (tutorials, homework, etc.) at http://www.masteringastronomy.com is also required for this class. New textbooks come with an access code for the online material. Access to the online material is also available for $27 for those whose purchase a used copy of the text. You should
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ASTR_1120_syllabus_fall_2008 - ASTR 1120-001 & 1120-880...

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