PHY104: Introduction to Astrophysics

Background

PHY104 provides an introduction to astrophysics for first year undergraduates. This module aims to equip students with a basic understanding of the important physical concepts and techniques involved in astronomy with an emphasis on how fundamental results can be derived from fairly simple observations.

Assessment

Assessment is primarily via an end of semester written examination (80 per cent), plus problem class homeworks (10 per cent) and a mid-term class test (10 per cent).

Syllabus

Lectures are normally held on Monday (17:00-17:50, Hicks LT-7) and Thursday (11:00-11:50, SU Auditorium) in the 2015/16 Spring semester. Problem classes are held on Monday (09:00-09:50), Tuesday (11:00-11:50), Wednesday (09:00-09:50 and Friday (11:00-11:50) in E36 (students are assigned to one of these four classes).

  • Chapter 1 - Introduction and properties of Light (2 lectures)
  • Chapter 2 - Magnitudes (1 lecture)
  • Chapter 3 - Distances (1 lecture)
  • Chapter 4 - Motion of celestial objects (1 lecture)
  • Chapter 5 - Thermal Continuum Radiation (1 lecture)
  • Chapter 6 - Thermal Properties of Matter (2 lectures)
  • Chapter 7 - A brief history of astronomical spectroscopy (1 lecture)
  • Chapter 8 - Bohr model of the atom (1 lecture)
  • Chapter 9 - Line strength (1 lecture)
  • Chapter 10 - Gravity and Orbits (2 lectures)
  • Chapter 11 - Measuring masses (4 lectures)
  • Chapter 12 - Summary (1 lecture)
Lecture notes, problem class questions are available via the PHY104 MOLE site.
22-Jan-2016Paul.Crowther@sheffield.ac.uk