Course Information, Syllabus, and Homework Assignments


Astronomy 110 (Section 6)
Survey of Astronomy
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Fall Term 2007

Dr. Ilia I. Roussev
IfA Office Phone: 956-6648
Watanabe Hall Office: Room 403
IfA Office: Room B-108

Teaching Staff

This section of Astronomy 110 will be given by Prof. Ilia I. Roussev. Prof. Roussev received his Ph.D. in solar physics at Queen's University Belfast (Belfast, Northern Ireland). He spent 4 years on the space physics faculty at the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) before joining the faculty of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy (IfA) in 2006. More information on Prof. Roussev's history and interests may be found in the "Biographical Information and Curriculum Vitae" on his website at: http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/users/iroussev/.

Prof. Roussev's main office is in Room B-108 of the Institute for Astronomy at 2680 Woodlawn Drive, 100 meters makai of the Manoa Marketplace (a five-minute ride on the Rainbow Shuttle from the main Manoa campus).

Mr. Christopher Beaumont is the Teaching Assistant for this course. He has a B.S. degree from Calvin College. Mr. Beaumont' office is in Room 402 in Watanabe Hall. His e-mail address is beaumont@ifa.hawaii.edu.

Office Hours

Prof. Ilia Roussev: TTh 11:15-12:00a.m. at Watanabe 403. No appointment is required.
Or, by appointment, at his IfA office (B-108). You are
encouraged to come 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.

Mr. Christopher Beaumonth: TTh 15:30-16:30 at Watanabe 402. No appointment is required.

Textbook

The textbook for this course is The Essential Cosmic Perspective, fourth edn. (third edn. is also OK to use), by Bennett, Donahue, Schneider & Voit, published by Pearson/Addison-Wesley in 2006, including the Media Workbook and the Voyager Sky Gazer CD which accompany the textbook. In my opinion this is an especially well-thought-out textbook. Typically, there will be reading assignments in this text, and exercises from the Media Workbook to be submitted and marked. Copies of the textbook and workbook are available in the UH Bookstore.

Relation of Text to Lectures

The examinable content of this course is defined by what is presented in the lectures, reading assignments, and homework exercises. There is more material in the textbook than will be covered in the lectures, and some of the material presented in the lectures will not be found in the textbook. A reading assignment for each lecture is given in the accompanying syllabus.

Interactive classroom activities

Last year, some of my colleagues have persuaded the Physics and Astronomy Department to buy a set of "clickers" that we loan to each student for each class. (The alternative, which is done in many places, is to require students to purchase them.) I have developed a set of questions which for each major concept which I will project on the screen for students to answer using the clickers. The clicker technology enables me to see the answers in real time. Most questions will precede my lecture on a topic, so I better understand the preconceptions the class brings to that topic. Other questions will follow my presentation to test understanding of each concept. Students will be invited to think about the correct answers, then discuss their ideas with their neighbors, and finally use the clickers to give their answers. I can then assess the extent to which my lecture was successful. If there is substantial confusion I can then try to correct misunderstanding which has appeared. It should therefore be apparent that attendance at lectures is mandatory. A student will not be able to get the equivalent learning experience only by reading the textbook.

Clicker guidelines

Students are asked to pick up a clicker when they enter the classroom each morning and return it when they leave the classroom. The clickers will be shared by several sections of the Survey of Astronomy course.

Mathematics

This course is essentially a non-mathematical introduction to astronomy. Astronomy is, however, both a descriptive and a quantitative science. If we say only that some astronomical object is "big" or "far away," we will not have got much beyond astronomy in the pre-Christian Era. In general, I do not see much point in having you plug numbers into a formula and use a calculator correctly to get an answer. My principal use of math will be with functional relationships: for example, that the brightness of a given star decreases as the square of its distance from us.

You will need to be able to understand numbers in powers of ten notation, e.g., 3,000 = 3 x 103. 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 US. All this will be presented in the first lecture and reviewed in the first homework, and it is also summarized in Appendix C, pages A-4 to A-12 of the textbook.

Examinations

The two mid-term exams and the final exam will consist mostly of multiple-choice questions. The latter will be computer-graded, so you must use No. 2 pencils for these exams, since the computer makes errors when trying to read marks made by harder pencils or in ink. Make sure that you bring a pencil and a photo-ID with you for the exam. We will check that students taking the exam are properly registered. You will be required to sign as well as print your name on your answer sheet. Failure to do so will result in a mark of zero for the exam. No late-comers will be admitted to the exam after one student has left the room.

Make-up exams will be offered only for serious emergencies. If you must miss an exam you must see the instructor as soon as you are able. Make-up exams, if permitted, will consist of essay-type questions. Permission to take make-up exams for athletics-related absences must be obtained in advance of the missed exam; otherwise no make-up exam will be offered. No athletics-related absences will be permitted for the final exam. The mid-term exams will each count for 20%, and the final for 40% of the course grade. Each mid-term exam will cover approximately the previous third of the course material. The first half of the final exam will be over the last third of the course material, and the second half of the final exam will be over the entire course.

Homework

Homework assignments from the Media Workbook will be set approximately once a week. The content of the homeworks is part of the examinable material of the course. Late homework papers will not be accepted. Return and discussion of homeworks will take place as quickly as possible after the due date. The average of the homework marks will count for 20% of the final grade, i.e., the homeworks are equal in importance to one of the mid-term exams. Some homeworks will have bonus questions which, if answered correctly, will bring students bonus points, i.e., some students may earn more than 100 points per given homework.

Marking (Grading)

Homework Average 20%
First Mid-Term 20%
Second Mid-Term 20%
Final Exam 40%

Studying for this course

In the syllabus which follows a reading assignment in the textbook is given for each lecture. Typically, each assignment will be about 10 pages. Please read the assigned material before coming to the lecture. Then re-read it after the lecture---if possible the same day---in conjunction with review of your lecture notes, to fill out missing details in your lecture notes, and to clear up points you are confused about.

There are a variety of insightful hints for maximizing your learning experience at university on the website of the Academic Skills Center at Dartmouth College. You may browse them at: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/success/index.html.

Daily reading assignments and homework assignments

The following pages give listings of the reading assignments in the textbook for each day's lecture, and the day each homework paper from the Media Workbook is due. Please note that homeworks are collected at the beginning of each class, and late homeworks will not be accepted.

Date
Lecture Topic
Corresponding Reading
21st August
Introduction to the Course and Math Review
Ch. 1, pp. 2-19; App C, pp. A-4 to 12
23rd August
1. What is the Structure of the Universe? Babylonians & Greeks
Ch. 3, pp. 52-61
28th August
2. How Do We Find Knowledge in Science? Copernicus, Brahe, Galileo, and Kepler
Ch. 3, pp. 61-71
30th August
Newtonian Dynamics and Gravitation
Ch. 4, pp. 77-86 and pp. 90-97
4th September
3. Why Do We Have Seasons?
The Celestial Sphere
Ch. 2, pp. 24-32
6th September
Why Do We Have Seasons
Ch. 2, pp. 33-38
11th September
Motions of the Moon and Eclipses
Ch. 2, pp. 38-46
13th September
4. How Do We Learn About Objects and Events in the Heavens? Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum
Ch. 5, pp. 103-110
18th September
Thermal Radiation and Spectroscopy
Ch. 5, pp. 110-114
20th September
Telescopes in Astronomy
Ch. 5, pp. 114-117
25th September
Resolution and Light-Gathering Power
Ch. 5, pp. 117-124
27th September
5. What is the Origin of Our Solar System? Overview of the Solar System
Ch. 6, pp. 131-143
2nd October
Mid-Term 1
4th October
Origin of the Solar System
Ch. 6, pp. 145-157
9th October
6. Why Does the Sun Shine? Solar Energy
Ch. 10, pp 258-265
11th October
Solar Activity and Sun-Earth Connection
Ch. 10, pp. 267-274
16th October
7. Why Is the Earth Special to Us?
Ch. 7, pp.169-180 & 190-205
18th October
8. What Is the Life Cycle of a Star? Basic Properties of Stars
Ch. 11, pp. 279-289
23rd October
Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram & Star Formation
Ch. 11, pp. 290-294 and pp. 302-307
25th October
Stellar Evolution: Low-Mass Stars
Ch. 12, pp. 307-314
30th October
9. What is the Origin of the Elements? Stellar Evolution: High-Mass Stars
Ch. 12, pp. 314-324
1st November
Mid-Term 2
6th November
White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars, and Black Holes
Ch. 13, pp. 329-345
8th November
10. What Is the Life Cycle of a Galaxy? The Milky Way Galaxy
Ch. 14, pp. 350-369
13th November
Basic Properties of Galaxies & Hubble's Law
Ch. 15, pp. 374-388
15th November
Galaxy Evolution & Activity in the Nuclei of Galaxies
Ch. 15, pp. 384-399
20th November
11. What Is the Origin and Evolution of the Universe? Big-Bang and Inflation
Ch. 17, pp. 443-451
22nd November
Thanksgiving Holiday
27th November
Nature of Dark Matter
Ch. 16, pp. 405-416
29th November
Will the Universe Expand Forever?
Ch. 16, pp. 420-425
4th December
The Big-Bang
Ch. 17, pp. 430-443
6th December
Epilogue
11th December
Final Exam
12:00-14:00 at WAT112
Date
Homework Assignment

in Media Workbook

Submit answers to:

21st August
23rd August
Read Introducing SkyGazer on pp. 129-133
28th August
Scale of the Universe
Questions 1-10, pp. 1-3
30th August
4th September
Motion & Gravity
Questions 1-12, pp. 27-29
6th September
11th September
Seasonal Constellations
Parts 1-3, pp. 177-179
13th September
18th September
Phases of the Moon
Questions 1-12, pp. 21-23
20th September
25th September
Energy
Questions 1-12, pp. 39-41
27th September
2nd October
Mid-Term 1 & Light & Spectroscopy
Questions 1-12, pp. 45-47
4th October
9th October
Telescopes
Questions 1-12, pp. 57-59
11th October
16th October
Formation of the Solar System
Questions 1-12, pp. 63-65
18th October
23rd October
The Sun
Questions 1-12, pp. 87-89
25th October
30th October
Measuring Cosmic Distances
Questions 1-9, pp. 105-106
1st November
Mid-Term 2
6th November
Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram
Questions 1-12, pp. 93-95
8th November
13th November
Stellar Evolution
Questions 1-11, pp. 99-100
15th November
20th November
Black Holes
Questions 1-12, pp. 111-112
22nd November
Thanksgiving Holiday
27th November
Hubble's Law
Questions 1-12, pp. 119-120
29th November
4th December
Fate of the Universe
Questions 1-12, pp. 123-124
6th December
11th December
Final Exam
12:00-14:00 at WAT112