Sonoma State University
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Astronomy Courses
from the 1998-2000 catalog
Disclaimer: This is not the official catalog.

100. Descriptive Astronomy (3) Fall and Spring
Lecture, 3 hours. Historic astronomy, Newton's Laws, gravitation, atomic structure, light, and telescopes. The solar system, space flight, stars and stellar evolution, interstellar matter, star clusters, galaxies, the universe. A survey designed primarily for non-science majors. Satisfies GE, category B1 or B3 (Physical Sciences).

231. Introductory Observational Astronomy (2) Fall
Lecture, 1 hour; laboratory, 3 hours. Principles of astronomical measurement techniques with field and laboratory studies of astronomical objects. Identification of constellations, astronomical coordinates, use of the telescope, techniques in imaging, photometry, and spectroscopy. Satisfies GE, category B1 or B3 (Physical Sciences) and GE laboratory requirements. Prerequisite: previous or concurrent enrollment in ASTR 100.

303. Extraterrestrial Intelligence and Interstellar Travel (3) Fall
Lecture, 3 hours. A largely descriptive survey. Theories of the origins of life; conditions for extraterrestrial intelligence; problems of communication; space flight and interstellar travel. Satisfies GE, category B3 (Specific Emphasis in Natural Sciences). Prerequisite: ASTR 100.

305. Frontiers in Astronomy (3) Fall
Lecture, 3 hours. A survey of recent developments in astronomy: exploration of the solar system; attempts to detect neutrinos from the sun; interstellar molecules, pulsars, quasars, x-ray and ultraviolet astronomy; new trends in cosmological thinking. Satisfies GE, category B3 (Specific Emphasis in Natural Sciences). Prerequisite: one course in astronomy.

350. Cosmology (3) Fall
Lecture, 3 hours. A largely descriptive survey. Theories of the universe, as advocated by the Greeks, Newton, Einstein, Lemaître, Gamow, and Hoyle. Cosmological implications of black holes, quasars, and other recent discoveries. Satisfies GE, category B3 (Specific Emphasis in Natural Sciences). Prerequisite: ASTR 100.

380. Astrophysics: Stars (3)
Lecture, 3 hours. A quantitative study of the structure and evolution of stars, including stellar interiors and atmospheres, nucleosynthesis, and late stages of stellar evolution. Prerequisites: PHYS 314 and MATH 211.

396. Selected Topics in Astronomy (1-3)
Lecture, 1-3 hours. A course of lectures on a single topic or set of related topics not ordinarily covered in the astronomy curriculum. The course may be repeated for credit with a different topic. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

411. Laboratory Instruction Practicum (1)
Laboratory, 3 hours. Presentation of experimental techniques and guidance of student activities in a lower-division physics laboratory under the supervision of the instructor in charge of the laboratory. Development and application of instructional experiments in astronomy. May be repeated for up to 3 units credit, with different subject matter in each repetition. Prerequisites: junior standing in physics and consent of instructor.

482. Advanced Observational Astronomy (2) Spring
Lecture, 1 hour; laboratory, 3 hours. An introduction to astronomical spectroscopy, photometry, and astrometry with emphasis on techniques at the telescope and data reduction. Observing program preparation, use of telescope with auxiliary instrumentation, photographic and photoelectric techniques. Statistical treatment of data and the method of least squares. Prerequisites: ASTR 231, PHYS 209B and PHYS 210B. and MATH 161; or consent of instructor.

495. Special Studies (1-4) Fall and Spring
The department of physics and astronomy encourages independent study and considers it to be an educational undertaking. Students wishing to enroll for special studies are required to submit to their supervising faculty members proposals which outline their projects and exhibit concrete plans for their successful completion.

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100-level Physics
200-level Physics
300-level Physics
400-level Physics

Courses and Degrees

Courses with Web Pages
Department of Physics and Astronomy
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created by at
last updated
1998-03-12 by JST