ASTR 312. Astrophysics II: Galaxies & Cosmology.
Prerequisite: ASTR 311. This course is an in-depth study of the properties, formation, structure, and evolution of galaxies and of principles and modern theories of cosmology. The course emphasizes the application of physical laws and principles in the studies of galaxies, utilizing both algebra and trigonometry. Astronomy is an observational, as opposed to an experimental, science. We have knowledge of the galaxies only by observing the radiation these objects emit. We will begin our study with the properties of galaxies (beginning with the Milky Way) including determination of morphologies, distances, sizes, stellar components, (i.e. disks, nuclei, spiral arms, globular cluster haloes, X-Ray and Dark Matter haloes), rotation rates, systemic velocities, atomic hydrogen distribution and mass. The remainder of the course will be an examination of principles of modern cosmology including an investigation of the Hot Big Bang Model, cosmological parameters, Dark Matter and Dark Energy, the geometry of space-time and scenarios for the ultimate fate of the universe.