Contemporary Astronomy (PHYS*1600)
Code and section: PHYS*1600*01
Term: Fall 2010
Instructor: Mike Massa
|Mike Massa||MacN firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays||4:30 - 5:20||MAC 149|
Textbook: Neil F. Comins & William J. Kaufmann, Discovering the Universe (W.H. Freeman and Co., New York, 8th ed.) Available at the University Bookstore and the Campus Co-op.
To achieve an understanding of our solar system, the nature of objects in our galaxy, and the structure of the universe. To offer a glimpse at the scientific method and foster an appreciation for what we humans have managed to learn.
(Thursday, December 16 – 8:30-10:30am)
NOTE: Students with standing in any other 1000 level course credit in physics (except PHYS*1020, PHYS*1810) may not use this course for credit.
A brief (10 min.) multiple choice Quiz will be given at the end of the class on weeks 2-6 and 8-12. The quiz will be based on the previous week’s material. Up to 2 quizzes may be missed without penalty. Note that no one will receive a passing grade by means of the Classroom Quiz marks. It is necessary to achieve a 50% average on the midterm and final exam marks combined, otherwise a maximum of 48% will be the reported mark.
If you cannot meet a course requirement
Medical Certificate: Required if the midterm or final exams are missed.
Course Web Page
A PHYS*1600 Web Page has been established to allow you easy access to course-related information:
The Physics Department telescopes are available for viewing objects of interest in the night sky. Opportunities for viewing will be arranged during the semester as interest and weather permit.
Tentative Lecture Schedule
The organization of this course somewhat follows a video-tape series Universe: The Infinite Frontier. While the class times will primarily be given over to lecturing by the instructor, in some lectures, select video tapes will be shown. Copies of all video tapes in the series are available for viewing in the library, and provide complimentary information to the material provided in class.
|Week 0||Sept. 10||Course Introduction|
|Week 1||Sept. 13||Distance scales in the universe; celestial motion, Kepler’s Laws|
|Week 2||Sept. 20||Earth and Moon: Structures and motions, eclipses, time keeping|
|Week 3||Sept. 27||Planetary Formation; Mercury, Venus & Mars|
|Week 4||Oct. 4||Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune & Pluto|
|Week 5||Oct. 11||Solar System depris: Asteroids, Comets, Meteors|
|Week 6||Oct. 18||E. M. Radiation, Spectra, Doppler Effect|
|Week 7||Oct. 25||Midterm Exam|
|Week 8||Nov. 1||Sun; Stars: position and motion|
|Week 9||Nov. 8||Stars: spectra, nuclear processes, evolution|
|Week 10||Nov. 15||White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars, Black Holes|
|Week 11||Nov. 22||Our galaxy, the Milky Way, Galaxies|
|Week 12||Nov. 29||Quasars, Cosmology|
The Department of Physics requires student assessment of all courses taught by the Department. These assessments provide essential feedback to faculty on their teaching by identifying both strengths and possible areas of improvement. In addition, annual student assessment of teaching provides part of the information used by the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee in evaluating the faculty member's contribution in the area of teaching.
The Department's teaching evaluation questionnaire invites student response both through numerically quantifiable data, and written student comments. In conformity with University of Guelph Faculty Policy, the Department Tenure and Promotions Committee only consider comments signed by students (choosing "I agree" in question 14). Your instructor will see all signed and unsigned comments after final grades are submitted. Written student comments may also be used in support of a nomination for internal and external teaching awards.
NOTE: No information will be passed on to the instructor until after the final grades have been submitted.