The course materials will reside primarily on Moodle and a course Google Drive. If you are enrolled in the course, you will have access to these pages.
This course is designed to provide, for both non-science and science majors, a description of the miraculous Universe in which we live. We will cover a variety of topics in astronomy, including planets, stars, galaxies, and the cosmos as a whole, gaining insight into amazing topics like the nature of light, exploding stars, and black holes. We will also explore what physics can tell us about several science-``fiction" topics like wormholes, time travel, and the idea of multiple Universes. Recent newsworthy events such as the detection of planets around other stars, the possible evidence of primitive life on Mars, the detection of gravitational waves, and the direct imaging of black holes are also featured.
Major overarching themes include our origins (such the origin of the chemical elements, stars, planets, and life), common misconceptions in astronomy, the scientific method and the methods by which astronomers investigate and eventually understand various aspects of the Universe, and the excitement felt by astronomers doing ground-breaking research on some of the most far-out topics imaginable.
This course, along with its lab component, Physics 91, satisfies the Scientific Learning Outcomes of the Mathematical and Scientific Understanding learning goal. You must be enrolled and pass (with at least a D) both in order to satisfy the core requirement of the college.
By the end of the semester, an outstanding student will have mastered the course's learning objectives:
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