University of Hawai˙i at Mänoa
Astronomy 240 (10:30 MWF)
Course Information and Policies
Paul H.I. Coleman
Fall Term 2013
http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/users/gruff/default/astro240.html
Teaching
Staff
This course will be given by Paul H.I. Coleman. Prof. Coleman
received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1985 while
working for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. After a year as a
visiting assistant professor at Virginia Tech, He accepted a position at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute in Groningen, The
Netherlands. He was a member of the scientific staff there for eight years, then he returned to the United States with a series of
appointments at New Mexico Tech, Yale University, and the University of Puerto
Rico, before accepting his current position with the Institute for Astronomy
here in Hawai˙i.
Prof.
Coleman's research interests are primarily in studying the large scale
structure of the universe. He is an advocate for fractal mathematical methods
in the analysis of astronomical objects.
He is also very interested in Hawaiian astronomy since he is a local boy
and native Hawaiian.
Prof.
Coleman's office is in Room C-106 of the Institute for Astronomy (which is a
short ride on the Rainbow Shuttle (the faculty housing bus) from the main Mänoa campus) at 2680 Woodlawn Drive, right next to the new
Mänoa public library). His phone number is 956-9843,
and his e-mail address is pcoleman@ifa.hawaii.edu.
Office
Hours
Mondays,
Wednesdays, and Fridays – for about the hour before class and for about an hour
after class in Watanabe 423. No appointment is needed. You are encouraged
to come at these times to ask questions about the course, discuss larger
intellectual, University, or personal issues, or just to have a general
conversation and get to know each other. Prof. Coleman will also be happy to
see students at his Institute for Astronomy office, but it is probably a good
idea to make an appointment by phone or e-mail first. This year, the graduate students assigned to
all the Astronomy 110 lectures are pooling their office hours and you should
feel free to go to any of their contact hours for assistance with any phase of
the course. The current schedule will be
announced in class.
Textbook
An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics, B.W. Carroll and
D.A. Ostlie,
Addison-Wesley is a comprehensive
(encyclopedic) general astrophysics text for the
junior/senior level and is a good book if you are planning to continue on to
one of our degrees in astronomy/astrophysics.
For the first term, I will assign readings on topics on the Web and we
will see how that goes…
Remember, astronomy is a constantly changing field and
you might want to get the most up-to-date information as an easy reference and
Carroll and Ostlie fits that bill.
Relation
of Text to Lectures
Examination topics for this course will be taken
from the lectures, reading assignments, and homework questions. There is more material in the
readings than will be covered in the lectures, and some of the material
presented in the lectures will not be found in the assigned reading.
Mathematics
Professors
in introductory science courses appreciate that students are concerned about
the mathematics required to understand the course. Astronomy 240 is essentially
a non-calculus introduction to astronomy. Since astronomy is both a descriptive
and a quantitative science, if we say only that some astronomical object
is "big" or "far away," we will not get very much insight
into the world around us. Simple
arithmetic and ability to insert numbers into formulae are required. For
instance, in the formula
distance traveled = (speed) x
(time traveled),
or in algebraic
symbols
d = st,
if speed
= 30 miles per hour, and time traveled = 2 hours, you should be able to
calculate that the distance traveled = 60 miles. Or, if given that s = 30 mph
and d = 60 miles, that t = 2 hours.
You will
need to be able to understand, and multiply and divide, numbers in powers of
ten notation, e.g. 3,000 = 3 x 10^{3}. This is necessary in astronomy
to avoid spending all one's time writing and counting zeros. Numerical
values will be given in terms of metric units, which are used in science and in
everyday life throughout the civilized world – except for the U.S.A.
Quizzes
You will
be graded (primarily) on weekly in-class quizzes and a final exam. Please come
promptly to Friday’s class since the quiz occurs during the first 10 minutes
and it is discussed immediately after it is collected. They are graded and
returned at the beginning of the next class period.
Make-up
quizzes will be offered only for serious emergencies. If this happens to you,
you must speak with Professor Coleman as soon as you are able. Make-up quizzes,
if permitted, may consist of essay-type questions. Permission to take make-up
quizzes for athletics-related absences must be obtained in advance of the
missed quiz; otherwise no make-up quiz will be offered. Finally, the lowest
quiz score will be dropped from the final grade calculation.
Homework
Homework
is assigned approximately once a week, normally on Friday. The content of
the homework is part of the examinable material of the course and one of the quiz questions will probably
be directly taken from the homework. The homework may require
answers of a few sentences, simple calculations, or perhaps a drawing a graph.
They are designed to help you to work with the ideas and concepts
presented in the course. The homework will normally be due the next Wednesday.
Homework papers will be collected at the beginning of the lecture on the
day they are due. Late homework papers will
not be accepted since the solutions will be discussed and published on the
due date. The average of the
homework marks will count for some small but important percentage of the final
grade - perhaps equal in importance to 2 or 3 quizzes. (10-15%).
Possible
Grading Scheme:
Weekly
quizzes 85%
Homework
15%
Special
events - one half a grade up
Objectives
of the Course
There
are two major themes to this course. The first is to develop a basic knowledge
of the variety of objects and events in the large-scale universe. The night sky
is awesome. Astronomy is one of the scientific subjects which is in the
newspaper almost daily - especially here in Hawai'i. We are fortunate in that
we have the best astronomical institute in the world right here (the Institute for
Astronomy) and the best site on Earth for viewing the skies (Maunakea). We intend to provide the minimum knowledge about
astronomy that an educated person in the modern world should know.
Secondly,
we live in a technological age in which science provides the paradigm for
arriving at knowledge. An educated person in the modern world must understand
what constitutes scientific knowledge, how scientific knowledge is gained, and
what the strengths and limitations of this approach to knowledge are. Astronomy
provides an excellent vehicle for illustrating these ideas and explaining the
"magic" in the world around us. We will take astronomy as an example
of how science works, how knowledge and understanding are developed, and we
will also examine the limitations of the scientific method.
A lot of
material falls under the heading "what every educated person should
know" about the Universe. I will essentially follow the lecture list here. Some of the topics will be studied in
more or less depth. For example, the study of planets will be quickly done
while the study of the large scale structure of the Universe will be done in
more depth.
Class
lectures in powerpoint (pptx) and .pdf will appear after
the Wednesday lecture each week:
Week
01: not much this day 01aug28.ppt, pdf 02aug30.ppt, pdf Week
02: (Labor
Day) 03sep04.ppt,
pdf 04sep06.ppt, pdf Q01 Week
03: 05sep09.ppt,
pdf 06sep11.ppt, pdf 07sep13.ppt, pdf Q02 Week
04: (Free) 08sep18.ppt,
pdf 09sep20.ppt, pdf Q03 Week
05: 10sep23.ppt,
pdf 11sep25.ppt, pdf 12sep27.ppt, pdf Q04 Week
06: 13sep30.ppt,
pdf
14oct02.ppt, pdf 15oct04.ppt, pdf Q05 Week
07: 16oct07.ppt,
pdf 17oct09.ppt, pdf 18oct11.ppt, pdf Q06 Week
08: 19oct14.ppt,
pdf 20oct16.ppt, pdf 21oct18.ppt, pdf Q07 Week
09: 22oct21.ppt,
pdf 23oct23.ppt, pdf 24oct25.ppt, pdf Q08 Week
10: 25oct28.ppt,
pdf 26oct30.ppt, pdf
27nov01.ppt,
pdf Q09 Week
11: 28nov04.ppt,
pdf 29nov06.ppt, pdf 30nov08.ppt,
pdf Q10 Week
12: Veteran’s Day 31nov13.ppt, pdf Children’s Day
Week
13: 32nov18.ppt, pdf 33nov20.ppt, pdf 34nov22.ppt, pdf Q11 Week
14: 35nov25.ppt,
pdf 36nov27.ppt, pdf Thanksgiving Q12
Week
15: 37dec04.ppt, pdf 38dec06.ppt, pdf Week 16: 39dec09.ppt, pdf 40dec11.ppt,
pdf Q13 |