Exploring the Cosmos 1Y ASTRO1004

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Physics and Astronomy
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

To survey our present understanding of the structure and evolution of stars, galaxies and the universe as a whole, and how this is derived from investigating the full range of radiation incident on the Earth.

Timetable

Daily at 1.00 pm.

Requirements of Entry

None

Assessment

One 2-hour examination (70%), continuous assessment (30%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

1. To survey our present understanding of the structure and evolution of stars, galaxies and the universe as a whole, and how this is derived from investigating the full range of radiation incident on the Earth.

2. To give some appreciation of key episodes in the historical development of this understanding.

3. To provide in this context, for some students not proposing to enter an Honours course in physics, some understanding of how data are gathered, evidence assessed and argument conducted in a physical science.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students will be able to:

1. Mapping the Universe.

Describe the basic principles of operation of detectors of visual and other electromagnetic radiation, of particles and of gravitational radiation,

Explain how these different data shed insight on distinct aspects of the behaviour of celestial bodies.

(2) Life and Death of Stars (Parts I & II).

Explain how detailed investigation of spectra leads to a classification of star types.

Describe the processes of creation, evolution and destruction of stars.

(3) Galaxies and Large Scale Structure

Describe the stages of development of our understanding of the Galaxy and our position to it.

Survey the nature and evolution of galaxies generally.

State the evidence of galactic movement and its relation to overall expansion of the universe.

(4) Particles, Forces and the Big Bang.

Assess the evidence for the current cosmological model of the origin, expansion and likely future of the universe, setting this in the context of our understanding of elementary particles and fundamental forces.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

To sit 1 (from 3) 30 minute class tests

Attendance at the degree examination