|Next: 2. The Sky Around Us|
The first week of this course is an introduction to some of the things we find in the Universe -- atoms, light, planets, stars, and galaxies. These lectures also describe a useful way of comparing the sizes, ages, and masses of different astronomical objects.
|Ch. 1-3||Powers of ten notation|
|Ch. 1-4||Astronomical distances|
|Ch. 2-2||The complex nature of light became apparent only in the twentieth century|
|Ch. 2-4||Light is only one type of electromagnetic radiation|
|Ch. 2-20||An atom consists of a small, dense nucleus surrounded by electrons|
Video: Powers of Ten
A brief primer on scientific notation, and an on-line test you can take to check your understanding.
A brief primer on units of measurement, how to use them in calculations, and how to convert between them.
A simple explanation of linear and logarithmic scales as well as an introduction to logarithms. (Note: available as a PDF file only.)
An excerpt from a poem by Gary Snyder which conveys a sense of cosmic time.
Homework 1: The Sun & You, due 9/04. The pages on Scientific Notation and Working With Units may be helpful in doing this assignment.
Quiz 1: Sizes of Objects, given 8/30.
Last modified: August 30, 2001