Pat Henry -- Fall 1999


Lecture Date Topic
1 08/23/99 Grading scheme, course goals, Introduction to the library & its resources
2 08/25/99 Spherical coordinates, geodesics, spherical geometry, Alt-Az Coordinate System, HA-dec coordinates
3 08/30/99 HA-dec coordinates, Equitorial coords, Ecliptic coords, Precession of coordinates (general & specific)
4 09/01/99 General precession of coordinates, Nutation, Parallax, Annual aberration, Galactic Coordinates, Atomic Time, Solar time, Universal time, gregorian year
5 09/08/99 Siderial time, Julian Date, Samples & Parent Population, Probablility density function, parent pop. properties, Estimating properties of a parent population
6 09/10/99 Sample mean & variance, propagation of errors, prob distribution functions, binomial distributions, Poisson distributions
7 09/13/99 Poisson statistics, Gaussian normal distribution, Central Limit theorem, confidence estimation, Significance of results, Maximum Likelihood
8 09/15/99 Maximum Likelihood of gaussian variables, linear regression, linear error correlation, chisquared
9 10/04/99 Confidence Limits for Fitted Parameters, Pros & Cons of Chisquared, Non-gaussian distributions, Wilk's Theorem, Likelihood function, Rank Tests
10 10/06/99 Non-parametric statistics, K-S Test (1 & 2-sample), Reflector vs. Refractor Telescopes, Common Foci of Reflecting Telescopes (Cassegrain, Nasmyth, Coude), Coatings, First order Geometric Optics, Eqn for reflection
11 10/08/99 Snell's Law, Magnification, 2 Mirror Telescope, Telescope size, Baffles, Stops, Pupils, Conic Sections of Revolution, Spherical Aberration
12 10/11/99 Spherical aberration, Coma, Ritchey-Cretien Design, Astigmatism, Distortion, Field Curvature, Hugen's Principle, Airy Diffraction, Aberrated telescope
13 10/13/99 Strehl Ratio, Optical Transfer Function, Modulation Transfer Funciton, Refraction in Atmosphere, Refractive index of air, Differential refraction
14 10/15/99 Seeing, Statistics of Fluctuations, Fried Parameter, Optical Transfer Function, PSF, Diffraction limit,
15 10/18/99 Temperature fluctions in the dome, Adaptive Optics, Tip-tile corrections, atmospheric extinction & causes, Atmospheric emission & how it affections observations, Properties of good observatory sites
16 10/20/99 Solid state physics, intrinsic semiconductors, extrinsic semiconductors, n- & p-type impurities, quantum efficiency, thermal excitation/dark current
17 10/25/99 Thermal excitation/dark current, Donor impurities, photoconductors, how CCDs work, Johnson noise, Equipartition function, bandwidth
18 10/27/99 Noise power, Photodiodes, Biasing the diodes, Bolometers, Specifics on CCDs (structure, how they work, readout, amplifiers, data numbers)
19 11/01/99 Real world CCDs: charge transfer efficiency, blooming, channel stop, CRs, Surface traps, backside illumination, IR Arrays, Data processing: signal, flatfielding
20 11/03/99 SCUBA, IDL introduction
21 11/05/99 Photometry: specific intensity, specific exitence, Emitted flux density, emitted flux, luminosity, resolved sources, Recieved flux density, magnitudes, photometric systems
22 11/08/99 mean, effective, and isophotal wavelength of a filter, Instrumental magnitudes, colors, Atmospheric extinction correction, practical considerations Absolute calibration, S/N, flux vs. background limited observations
23 11/10/99 spectrometer setup, dispersion, anamorphic magnification, optimal slit width, spectral purity, spectral resolution, diffraction limits, prisms, gratings (transmission & reflection), ordinary vs. eschelle grating spectrometers
24 11/12/99 Free spectral range, sorting out overlapping orders, blazed gratings, grating equation, grism, collimators, cameras, gratings. Practical spectroscopic considerations
25 11/15/99 Radio Astronomy, Single aperture & filled aperture antennae, strehl ratio, Beam pattern, Hanning apodization, effective area, directivity, aperture efficiency, brightness temperture, antenna temperature, integrated effective area
26 11/17/99 Interferometry, cross spectrum power density, finite source size, U-V Plane, aperture synthesis, calibration, closure variables, cleaning
27 11/19/99 Calibration of radio data: self calibration, noise issues, brief history of space exploration, technical considerations for satellites, residual atmosphere, communiations, altitude control & determination
28 11/22/99 Slewing satellites, determination (gyros & startrackers), power & thermal control
29 11/24/99 X-Rays: wavelengths, attenuation by atmosphere, issues with X-Ray observations, X-Ray optics, detectors
30 Neutrinos (sources & detectors), brief introduction to general relativity and gravitational waves.

Homework Assignments

  1. Spherical coordinates
  2. Probability distributions
  3. Statistics Calculations for a simple experiment
  4. Optical design & optical transfer function
  5. Detector properties and design
  6. Basic image processing
  7. Color temperature, S/N, limiting magnitudes
  8. Photometry exercise
  9. Spectroscopy exercise

Thanks to Megan Novicki for this syllabus.

Joshua E. Barnes (
Last modified: April 24, 2002