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Physics 6950-003
Introduction to astrophysics for science teachers
Evolving Provisional Agenda

  Fall Semester 2013
Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4,
Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8,
Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12,
Week 13, Week 14, Week 15 Week 16

Week 01
1) Wednesday August 28
    0) Introduction to the class
    1) Shape, size and motion of the Earth
        * Boats vanishing at the horizon
        * Eratosthener measurement of the circumference of the Earth
        * Definition of the meter
        * Measurement of Earth gravity using a pendulum


Week 02
2) Wednesday September 4
        * Measurement of Earth gravity using a pendulum continued with a numerical pendulum (see the Excel file produced in class)
        * Newton's law of gravitation
        * Earth rotation and the reference ellipsoid
        * Aristarchus measurement of the Distance of the Moon (or here) from lunar eclipses. See also umbra and penumbra
        * Orbit of the Moon

Week 03
3) Wednesday September 11
        * Phases of the Moon and the the distance of the Sun (That is Aristarchus again!)
        * Tidal forces of the Sun and the Moon and the water tides
        * Earth orbit around the Sun
        * Equinox, solstices and seasons
        * Solar system model

Week 04
4) Wednesday September 18
    2) Celestial coordinate systems
        * Translations and rotation (and their commutative properties) in Cartesian coordinates
        * Celestial sphere and spherical coordinates

Week 05
5) Wednesday September 25
        * Celestial coordinate systems: horizontal, equatorial(with hour angle and right ascension), ecliptic
        * Angular distance between two directions (Euclidean vectors and the dot product)
        * Solid angle
    3) Sky maps and sundials
        * Sky maps
        * Wikisky
        * Paralax and aberration of light
        * Constellations
        * Stellarium
        * Sundial
        * Equation of time
        * I made this a while ago: minisky. I am sure you can find better ones online.
        * Card board Equatorial sundial
        * Card board Horizontal sundial for Salt Lake City. I can make it for any location.
        * Card board astrolab and tangeant template to avoid using a calculator.

Week 06
6) Wednesday October 2
        * General review using Stellarium and discussion on sundials. See the links above.

Week 07
7) Wednesday October 9
    4) From overthere to here: radiation
        * Solid angles
        * Intensity and inverse-square law
        * Magnitudes and distances
        * Speed of light
        * Wavelengths frequencies and those sorts of things
        * Electromagnetic spectrum
        * Electromagnetism
        * Polarization
        * Refraction
        * Reflection
        * Geometrical optics
        * Interferences
        * Diffraction
        * Diffraction gratings
        * Telescopes
        * Spectroscopy
        * Electromagnetic emission
        * Black body radiation ( Stefan-Boltzmann law and Wien's displacement law)
        * Interferometry
        * Photoelectric effect

Week 08
*) Wednesday October 16 (Fall break)
    5) The sun: a star (if we have class)

Week 09
8) Wednesday October 23
    6) Distances and magnitudes

Week 10
9) Wednesday October 30
    7) Galaxies, interstellar medium and the birth of stars

Week 11
10) Wednesday November 6
    8) The evolution and death of stars

Week 12
11) Wednesday November 13
    9) Types of galaxies and large scale structures

Week 13
12) Wednesday November 20
    10) The big-bang theory

Week 14
13) Wednesday November 27

Week 15
14) Wednesday December 4

Week 16
15) Wednesday December 11