Fall 2008, Neda Katz
DISCLAIMER: THESE NOTES SHOULD HELP THE PREPARATION OF THE
FINAL EXAM. AS USUAL, THE PURPOSE OF THESE NOTES IS TO INDICATE
HOW THE ESSENTIAL MATERIAL CAN BE LEARNED. THEY ARE NOT
INTENDED TO BE A COMPLETE LIST OF THE ESSENTIAL MATERIAL.
• General Remark about Topics of the Final Exam
The exam is somewhat cumulative, but not dramatically so. Emphasis will be strongly on
the last topics of our lectures. However, I will use the opportunity to ask important
questions of the earlier stuff, especially of the kind that pertain to the overall picture.
Also, there are questions that strictly did not belong to any of the midterm sections, so the
final will be the appropriate forum for those. As a simple example, consider this: Which
of the following has the largest size: a) planet b) galaxy c) Sun d) globular cluster. This
question could not be asked on the midterms because it requires knowledge of the whole
course. A less trivial question is about the ‘spacing’ in the universe: how do stellar
diameters and interstellar distances compare with galactic diameters and intergalactic
Lastly, what are the major lessons and tools of astronomy? The final exam
will contain a few such questions.
• Neutron Stars, Pulsars, Black Holes, Ch. 22
That’s what we forgot to test in Midterm 3.
.. You do not have to know many details. Just
to recall again that neutron stars are one of the 3 possible end states of the life of a star,
that neutron stars are being observed as pulsars by radio astronomy, and that there are
pulsars, and therefore neutron stars, in nebulae which are the ejecta of relatively recent
supernova explosions, which together is beautiful evidence for the overall picture of
stellar evolution! Only very basic stuff about Black Holes will be asked.
• The Milky Way Galaxy (= Our Galaxy) and beyond, Ch. 23-24
We had our surprises earlier, when planets and stars, which superficially seen resemble
each other, turned out to be radically distinct objects. Now, we are in for another surprise
with the Milky Way, which can be easily mistaken for a gaseous nebula. However, from